ALBANY, GA (WALB) - After the shocking fatal shooting at a convenience store that left one woman dead, and with the holiday season upon us, the Albany Police Department is concerned. Their officers sat down with Albany store owners Monday night to discuss ways to protect their businesses.
The room was filled with concerned business owners who don’t want to see what happened at the Devi’s convenience store, happen anywhere else.
In fact, one store owner from Thomasville announced that the reward for the arrest and prosecution of the suspect in the homicide has increased to $15,000.
“We try to do better every time but we are all human beings and we all mess up. And thugs are out there taking opportunity from our mishaps,” said Tommy Patel, a convenience store owner from Thomasville.
Patel came to Albany Monday to sit alongside his colleagues as local law enforcement gave tips on protecting their stores.
“At this time of year we know it’s going to happen. We can’t prevent it, all we can do is educate and have people to be aware, be mindful of things and take measures to reduce the risk of them being a victim,” said one APD officer.
The most recent victim, Dharmisthaben Patel, was killed while leaving Devi’s convenience store just over a week ago.
Patel said he isn’t related to Dharmistaben, but says they came from the same society in India.
“It was a great loss, that loss should’ve never occurred,” said Patel.
That’s why he teamed up with several other store owners to raise the award to $15,000 for the arrest and prosecution of the suspect.
“This guy is going to hurt somebody else. It could be my wife, it could be his wife, and it ain’t gonna happen. Money is desperate but not this desperate for anybody to take a life of an innocent person,” he explained.
Meanwhile, APD said they want store owners to be vigilant when protecting their stores.
“That person who is robbing you may have been in your store at some point. So listen to the voice, take notes,” said one investigator.
“You also want to make sure that you do light around your business and I would recommend putting cameras all around your business,” said a crime scene investigator.
APD also told store owners the department is willing to conduct safety surveys on businesses where they check your lighting and security cameras.
You can contact APD for more information.