Albany police chief looks for ways to combat crimes at stores, public places

Albany Police Department Crimes at Stores

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany Police Department (APD) said immediately stopping crooks in their tracks and protecting people is a top priority, even at convenience stores.

WALB News 10′s Asia Wilson spoke with Albany Police Chief Michael Persley and his entire team on how they are working to get to the bottom of crimes at stores.

Persley said they started a ‘Summer Action Plan’ last week and in that, they’re looking at where these crimes are happening and many are happening at stores. Now, he’s warning everyone to protect themselves.

“Usually I don’t shop at convenience stores, but when I do, I always check my surroundings,” said Almarie Green, a concerned resident.

Shopping at convenience stores is no longer Green’s cup of tea. And others said it’s due to the number of crimes happening at these stores within the last couple of weeks.

According to Persley, they’re looking at ways to better conduct operations at stores all over town.

“We do engage in management about not allowing people to just loiter around the outside. If they’re there to conduct business, you conduct your business and leave,” said Persley.

In just over a week, there’s been a shooting at Brothers Convenience Store that sent one man to the hospital after two people approached him, and on Tuesday, a suspect robbed a clerk at gunpoint at the Fairway Store on South Slappey Boulevard.

Something that may be scary to some when they see folks just hanging out for long periods of time.

“If I’m a customer and I’m a potential customer, do I really want to go somewhere a lot of people are hanging out? And that’s where we need business owners’ help,” said Persley.

Help from store owners and even customers to lessen their chances of becoming a target after APD has seen a number of aggravated assaults, robberies and car thefts.

“Because one of the types of crimes we’ve seen a lot of lately and we’re expecting is motor vehicle thefts,” said Persley.

As APD is increasing patrol in these areas, they’re also pushing their clean car campaign to educate people on protecting their vehicles at these stores and watching their own backs.

Green said watching out for crimes with your own eyes as employees and customers is a step in the right direction.

“It might not stop it, but it will certainly curtail it and have second thoughts about it,” said Green.

Persley said they’re cracking a number of cases all over Albany. In the meantime, police are calling on the entire community to work together to combat crimes as a whole.

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