ALBANY, GA (WALB) - East Albany business owners are frustrated after more break-ins by an apparent serial burglar. Two more sand dunes area Albany businesses were burglarized yesterday, one of them twice.
The man dubbed the Creepy Crawler has caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
The crook broke through a vent in the wall at Shaw Stainless and Alloy Piping twice Thursday. Once at 5:00 in the morning, crawling on the floor to beat the motion detectors in the alarm system. That's why they are calling him the Creepy Crawler.
He stole a jar of change, and some cheap tools. But then he returned about 9:00 last night, but this time the alarm sounded and he ran. They believe this is the third time this same crook has broke into their business in a week.
"This guy has done thousands of dollars in damage. He's probably close to ten thousand dollars by the time it's all added up. For just pennies." said Shaw Stainless Office Manager Marie Allen.
Not long after the alarm sounded at Shaw, someone broke into Autoland Custom auto repair business next door. The owner says he believes it was the creepy crawler, who has been terrorizing his business as well.
"This is five breakins in two weeks, with a total of about $15,000 worth of tools and equipment gone," said Autoland Custom Service Manager Shane Knight. "If this continues, it could put us out of business. It certainly could."
Police say they suspect the Creepy Crawler has burglarized at least six East Albany businesses, because all the crimes are so much alike. Knight says he has talked with Albany's Mayor, City Manager, and police representatives about the crime plaguing area businesses.
Shaw Stainless put up a huge steel plate over the wall where the creepy crawler has been breaking through, trying to keep him out.
"So it's very unnerving, unsettling to be in here everyday after you know somebody is in this building," Allen said.
Knight is also improving security at his garage, but he says the creepy crawler will have to be caught to stop the break ins. "I'm hoping we can generate enough interest through the media that somebody will say, man we got to solve this problem."
Both managers believe the creepy crawler will return.
Knight said in twelve years, his business has had 35 cars stolen, sees his fence cut once a month, and had 15 break-ins in the shop, all without a single arrest, much less a conviction. He has no confidence that police will catch the creepy crawler either.