DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County business owners say thefts are increasing with many people stealing small items.
But those inexpensive products add up.
Business owners tell us they are tired of these thefts and small crimes. And they want the crooks prosecuted, no matter how small the crime.
Take a look at the lady placing her order at the McDonalds on Westover Road Friday night. Tanyla Jones sets her phone by the card reader, and forgets to pick it up. Moments later that woman in white standing behind Jones, walks by the counter and grabs her phone and takes it. Dougherty County Police say they have no doubt she meant to steal the phone.
Dougherty County Police Lt. Chad Kirkpatrick said "You could actually see her looking down at the cell phone. Then as she is leaving she actually diverts to that direction to pick up the cell phone and exits the store."
Now Police are looking for this woman.
Late last night owners of Malone's Paint and Body Shop on South Mock Road were called by their neighbor, who spotted a man climbing the fence into their business. They found 38 year old Armando Melendez and he was charged with criminal trespass. Brenda Malone says thieves are getting bolder.
Malone said "We've had to put a lock on our cabinet in our bathroom because people will go to the bathroom and take things. Toilet paper and all kinds of stuff out of there. Cleaning supplies."
Friday at noon at the Fast Lane on Sylvester Road, Investigators say one woman distracted the clerk while this woman pulls a 4-Loco drink out of the cooler and slips it in her purse. Police now have taken arrest warrants for 35 year old Stephanie Henderson, known as Beeney, for theft of that two dollar drink.
Kirkpatrick said "These minor thefts, they add up over time and can cause these store owners to raise their prices, which then effects us the consumers."
Business owners tell us they are tired of thefts, and are prosecuting.
Malone said "I don't mind giving people a dollar or two for food, but don't steal from me."
Because of the small dollar amount, The thefts are misdemeanors, and that could be a reason thieves are getting more active.