Suspect charged with theft

ALBANY -- Investigators with the Albany Police Department announced Monday afternoon the weekend arrest of a man suspected in the burglaries of seven downtown businesses.

Detective Schemika Foster said Curtis "Red" Thompson, 37, was apprehended by police Saturday morning at Empire Construction Co. on the 900 block of West Roosevelt Avenue.

"Officers responded to a burglary alarm on Roosevelt Avenue and they received reports that a suspect was fleeing the scene," she said

APD Officer Terry Brown said when he responded to the burglary alarm at Empire Construction Co. his supervisor told him the description of the burglary suspect.

"So as I rode the area, I made contact with a black male who was wearing a glove on his left hand," Brown said. "I stopped and talked to him, and he took off running from me."

Brown said police chased the suspect, later identified as Thompson, for a short distance before they were able to apprehend him.

"It was a fast chase. It was only about 25 feet," he said. "He gave up easily and didn't give us any resistance. He actually fell asleep while we transported him."

When they apprehended Thompson, Brown said officers found a box cutter, a pipe cutter, wrenches and various other tools and personal items on him.

Foster believes Thompson was using the wooded area next to the railroad as cover after he burglarized the downtown businesses.

"He (Thompson) stole items that he could bag easily such as cash, coins and small electronic items," she said.

Police said electronics could be sold on the street since thieves are no longer taking them to local pawn shops.

"They know that we are monitoring the pawn shops heavily so they are not taking a lot of things there anymore," said Foster.

Police said seven other businesses were burglarized in the same manner that Thompson used in the Empire Construction Co. burglary over the weekend.

Thompson is currently charged with one count of burglary and is being held in the Dougherty County Jail, but police said Monday that charges for the seven other burglaries are pending against him.

"We are possibly going to clear seven cases with this one arrest," said Foster.

Police said local businesses need to take precaution against potential thieves.

"Businesses can make sure they get a burglary alarm and trim any bushes that might make the store more visible from the street," said Foster.

Securing valuable merchandise within the building and locking up safes and cabinets and making sure video surveillance is working are among the other tips police give to businesses.

"Also businesses might choose to keep lights on within the building at night so that when officers patrol the area they can see inside clearly," said Foster.