ALBANY, GA (WALB) - And police said that south Georgia businesses should increase their vigilance, watching for crime in their stores, as shoplifting and thefts increase during the holidays.
It's a serious issue, because a large theft in a small store could mean a merchant having to go out of business.
Chuck Roberts has owned John Ross Jewelers at his Dawson Road location for 30 years, and one reason he has been so successful is he was already thinking about criminals when he designed the shop.
"We built this store the way it's built, to stop the shoplifting," explained Roberts.
Police said that during this time of year, shoplifters and thieves increase their activity, because stores have more customers to hide among, and there is more on hand to steal.
"They have more merchandise available. So there will always be someone who is looking to find an illegal way to acquiring that merchandise," said Albany Police Chief Michael Persley.
Roberts has well established trade practices to deter thieves and lots of surveillance cameras watching customers, because he has thousands of dollars worth of jewelry in his store cases, and knows crooks will go to almost any length to steal them.
"We keep three employees in the store at all times. If you don't keep enough employees, they can distract one," said Roberts. "The others go on the other side of the store. They can take knives and cut that glue that keeps the glass together, and reach in and get what they want."
Albany Police are urging businesses to stay on their guard, because they know criminals will increase activity in the upcoming weeks, crime that can cost a merchant his business in the blink of an eye.
"We don't want businesses to leave Albany," said Persley. "We want businesses to stay here because they can operate in a safe atmosphere."
Roberts gives the best customer service, while staying on guard.
"Yes. It's sad that we live in a society that has this problem," said Roberts. "When I came up people didn't even lock their doors."
Now-a-days businesses have to do a lot more than just lock their doors, because crooks are bold and smart.
The Albany Police Department has expert crime prevention officers who will come to your home or business, to give crime stopping advice.
You can contact them by calling the Albany Police at (229) 431-2100.