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Albany residents encouraged to remain vigilant following weekend business robberies

An armed robbery and attempted robbery investigated by Albany police

Cpl. Brian Covington with the Albany Police Department Crime Prevention Unit gives tips to citizens on how to help prevent robberies in their communities. This follows an armed robbery and attempted robbery at two separate locations on Saturday evening. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)

Cpl. Brian Covington with the Albany Police Department Crime Prevention Unit gives tips to citizens on how to help prevent robberies in their communities. This follows an armed robbery and attempted robbery at two separate locations on Saturday evening. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)

ALBANY — Following an armed robbery and an attempted robbery of two separate businesses, officials with the Albany Police Department are encouraging citizens to be more watchful and report whatever suspicious activity they see.

Reports show the armed robbery took place at 1100 N. Slappey Blvd., the site of Little Caesars Pizza, at around 9:45 p.m. on Saturday. Police officials say the suspect entered the business and demanded money from the register. After taking an undisclosed amount of cash from the register, the suspect fired one shot while exiting the business and fleeing the scene on foot.

The suspect description given by witnesses was that of a black male wearing all dark clothing, face covered and armed with an unknown type handgun. No injuries were reported, police said.

Officers suspect the same individual may have also attempted to rob the Subway located at 202 E. Oakridge Drive at 8:44 p.m. Saturday. The robbery was averted, police officials say, when a concerned citizen called store employees notifying them of suspicious behavior nearby — giving the staff enough time to lock the doors before the suspect had a chance to enter.

Cpl. Brian Covington, with the APD Crime Prevention Unit, said Monday that such crimes tend to be more frequent during the holidays as people become desperate to put food on the table or give their families Christmas presents.

“One of the most important things you can do is be watchful,” he said. “If something doesn’t seem right, call someone.

” … The more (people who call), the merrier. It imposes an emergency when we have 10-15 calls telling us the same thing.”

As far as tips on dealing with burglars goes, it is suggested that suspects be complied with and for the victims to get as much detail on the suspect as possible — including physical description and which direction they are heading in.

Covington said robberies are down from the same period last year, which he attributes to people being more vigilant as well as different placement of officers in different locations and new tactics that have been instituted to bring criminals off the street.

“It brings home the point that we must be doing something right,” he said.

Covington also said that business owners are encouraged to attend the business watch meetings, similar to neighborhood watch meetings, which are held monthly. The next meeting is set for 2 p.m. on Jan. 8 at the APD Law Enforcement Center in downtown Albany. Those interested in joining are instructed to send a text to (229) 888-7777 so they can be given instructions on how to become a part of the group.