ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany Police Chief told concerned people at Tuesday's Stop The Violence meeting that his officers are stepping up efforts to stop a recent "spree of armed robberies", and he is asking for the community's help to do it.
A masked man with a gun robbed the Doco Credit Union 10 days ago in East Albany, and clerk at a Johnson Road convenience store was roughed up by a masked gunman.
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said he and his department are very concerned by the spree of armed robberies they have seen in recent months.
"All of this can be attributed to people are looking for targets of opportunities," said Persley, "to where they want to get some money in a quick fashion, in a hurry."
The Chief warns store employees to be on alert, watching for suspicious activity. Many times robbers will scout out the targeted businesses.
"Someone who constantly is standing outside the store, or they are coming inside the store, hanging around for a little while, then they leave out, Persley described. "Or they may appear to be a regular customer, but they are just looking for the opportunity."
On Sunday night a customer stopped an armed robbery when he jumped a masked man with a toy gun. Chief Persley said people are tired of crime, but also noted that this was the wrong way to stop it.
"The community will get tired and someone will take action. We're not sitting here supporting that. We don't want to start vigilantes. By no means do we want to do that," he said.
Persley said safety is their first concern. Police ask customers and employees to cooperate with robbers, but to get a good description, so police can arrest them.