Albany business owner not planning to close down after crime goes up at store

Albany business owner won't close down after crime goes up at store

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany police are looking for four people after a series of break-ins at Neighborhood Grocery on Johnson Road.

The most recent burglary was on Monday. It was the fifth incident at the store since May.

The other four incidents included two robberies and two burglaries.

Albany Police said four people worked together to break-in to Neighborhood Grocery Monday around 3:30 that morning.

Police said three men used a tool to unscrew Plexiglas to get inside.

The store owner said the men took cigarettes, Black & Milds, lottery tickets and other items.

Officers said a woman also helped with the burglary.

After the fifth incident, Muhammad Shafi, the owner of Neighborhood Grocery, said he’s thought about closing the store.

Shafi said he’s trying not to since it’s one of the only grocery stores in that area.

“The neighbors or people, whoever have information, please share it with us. That way they can get arrested,” said Shafi.

Frequent shoppers are also calling for the crime to stop at the East Albany store.

“It’s hard to run a business when you’re getting robbed all the time. I think this is robbed more than anybody around here really,” said Jesse Nolan, a frequent shopper.

Police respond to residents about the cases

People in the area want more police around and they want the crime to stop.

The Albany Police Department (APD) said it’s working around the clock to solve the five Neighborhood Grocery cases.

“Well, maybe ride around a little more. Just ride through here a little more often cause it’s really hard to find one,” said Nolan.

Police visibility, that’s what Nolan believes will stop the burglaries and robberies at the East Albany store.

APD released the following statement:

"Albany Police Department Investigators say progress is being made in all five cases. The Burglary and Robbery/Homicide Units are working together and compiling valuable information which has helped to develop several suspects however, no arrests have been made at this time. Investigators and Uniform Patrol Officers are implementing strategies to apprehend these suspects along with monitoring businesses located on all 15 patrolled beats which cover the east, west and central portions of the city of Albany. It has not been determined yet whether these burglaries or robberies have been committed by the same person(s).

Crime prevention offers the most cost-effective means to reduce the impact of crime on any business. The Albany Police Department continues to encourage business owners to have good working alarm and video surveillance systems. Business owners are encouraged to have a minimal amount of cash in the store during and after business hours. In regards to staffing, it is recommended that businesses have two or more people during peak hours of customer traffic." - Albany Police Department

Police said they’ve developed several suspects, but no arrests have been made at this time.

They also said it has not been determined whether the same person committed these crimes.

APD is encouraging all business owners to have working alarms, working camera systems and minimum cash at your business.

Police are also telling people to have more than one person working at a time.

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