Store owner says crime has reached critical mass - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Store owner says crime has reached critical mass

(Moultrie PD video) (Moultrie PD video)
Charles Byrd (WALB image) Charles Byrd (WALB image)
(WALB image) (WALB image)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Business owners in Moultrie say they're fed up with crime.  This week, two Moultrie businesses have been robbed in broad daylight.

Charles Byrd has owned Kim's Fashions in downtown Moultrie for over 20 years.  And in those two decades, he's never been robbed at gunpoint.

He says the armed robbery has completely changed his viewpoint. "They're not worried about being caught.  It doesn't look like it. Every day or two they're robbing a place," Byrd said.

Byrd believes business armed robberies are becoming more common than ever in Moultrie.  "Not very safe. Not very safe."

He's owned Kim's Fashions on South Main Street for 24 years.  But what happened yesterday afternoon was something he and his wife have never experienced. He said he was reading in the back of the store when an armed man walked in.

"He was waving the gun and pointing the gun at me, telling me he wanted to get the money out of the cash register.  I said, 'Hey man, you must be kidding, you're just fooling around aren't you?' And he said, 'Does it look like I'm fooling around?' And he just kept waving the gun."

Byrd says he got away with a few hundred dollars in the cash register, and ran out of the store.  "He wasn't in a hurry.  He was really calm, nonchalant.  2:20 in the afternoon.  I thought someone else would come in, but nobody did."

Now Byrd says he's packing heat, prepared for the possibility of this happening again. And he's even considering closing his doors.

"It would be disappointing for everybody. I don't want my wife getting shot. It's just not worth doing it if they can't get control over it."

If you recognize the man in that surveillance video call Moultrie Police.

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