Criminals may put storekeeper out of business

Criminals may put storekeeper out of business
South Madison Street owner Tony Gray
South Madison Street owner Tony Gray

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Crooks smash a hole in a South Albany store's roof, and break in three times during the night. The store just opened three weeks ago. The owner wonders if crime will force him out of business.

The store owner closed down another South Albany store in 2011, because of repeated crimes. After last night's break-ins he is concerned crime may force him out again.

The hole in the roof in the Yellow Store in the 900 block of South Madison Street has owner Tony Gray re-thinking his plans.

"They just doing damage for nothing. It might not even be worth being here. I'm not even sure if I'm going to stay or not."

Open just three weeks, the Yellow Store has heavy metal grates over the doors and windows, so the crooks bashed a hole in the roof just before 9 last night....starting a long night for Gray.

"Somebody had come through the roof. They didn't take anything the first time but a couple of moon pies and just knocked the top off my cash register."

He said the first time, because 20 minutes after Gray and the police left the store the crooks came back in through the same hole , setting off the alarm again. This time they took cigars. Gray came back to secure the store again, but discovered they had returned again, this time shutting off the alarm.

"So I had three breakins last night. I guess they got about $5 worth of stuff. If they got that much. They did about $400 worth of damage."

Gray shut down his former store, the Southside Grocery, in August 2011, because of repeated crimes.

"They kept breaking in. Kept going through the roof, through the front door. Armed robberies, they did everything over there, so I finally gave up."

This time Gray hopes he can stay open, saying he wants to bring a nice, convenient store to the neighborhood. But he worries crime will run him out again.

Gray repaired the hole in his roof, and is installing surveillance cameras.

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