Officials concerned over rise in violent armed robberies - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Officials concerned over rise in violent armed robberies

Law enforcement in Albany are urging gun owners to be cautious. (Source: WALB) Law enforcement in Albany are urging gun owners to be cautious. (Source: WALB)
Even teenagers can get a gun to use in robberies. (Source: WALB) Even teenagers can get a gun to use in robberies. (Source: WALB)
Albany Police Lt. Ulysses Austin (Source: WALB) Albany Police Lt. Ulysses Austin (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul (Source: WALB) Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul (Source: WALB)
Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards (Source: WALB) Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany Police continue to investigate several recent violent convenience store robberies during which shots were fired. 

Law enforcement in Albany said that overwhelmingly they find that most guns used in crimes are stolen from law abiding gun owners.  

Frighteningly, even teenagers can get a gun to use in robberies.

Kenneth George was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison without the chance of parole, for robbing the Woodall's on North Slappey in March 2015.

Prosecutors said that surveillance video of George, who was just 17-years-old, when he and two other teens used guns to rob the store and customers.

"Criminals will find ways to get guns," said Albany Police Lt. Ulysses Austin.

"They usually steal them in burglaries or entering autos," explained Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul. "It's always a concern to use when guns get into the wrong hands."

Other surveillance video shows a masked man robbing the Neighborhood Grocery on Thursday, firing as many as five shots to force customers on the ground, and rob the store.  

This kind of crime is what law enforcement knows can happen when guns are stolen from legal owners.

"Really need for people to stop leaving their guns in their cars," said Austin. "Because of the entering autos and people steal them out of the cars and they leave the cars unlocked."

Prosecutors warn that crooks who use guns to commit robberies will be punished severely.

"It's just not worth it. Rob a little convenience store. Rob an individual on the street with a gun, you could wind up with life in prison," explained Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.

George was sentenced to 10 years in prison with no chance of parole, and then 20 years on probation.

Law enforcement are asking legal gun owners not to leave their guns in their cars unattended at any time, because they know they could end up in a violent crime like last week's in Albany.

Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved.

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