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Albany business hit by weekend burglaries

ALBANY — An armed robbery in south Albany and multiple business robberies from the East Albany area have officials with the Albany Police Department ramping up education efforts to help establishments protect themselves.

The armed robbery was reported from Dollar General at 1824 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive just before 10 p.m. on Saturday. In that case, the complainant reported that two suspects entered the business with handguns and demanded money, said Phyllis Banks, spokeswoman for the Albany Police Department.

The suspects were described as a black male with a heavy build and a camouflage top and a black male with a slim build and a red top. Both had their faces covered, Banks said.

Meanwhile, there were several businesses in the East Albany area hit by robbers over the weekend, Banks said. They included the Wing Dixie and Deli at 244 Cordele Road, La Fuente Mexican Restaurant at 2000 E. Oglethorpe Blvd., Beauty World at 2427 Sylvester Road, Discount Liquors at 1342 Mobile Ave. and Hardees at 2324 E. Oglethorpe Blvd.

Banks said investigation into the Wing Dixie and Discount Liquors incident found that the front door had been shattered with nothing taken. During the break-ins at La Fuente and Hardees, forced entry was achieved and damaged cash registers were found at the scene that had already been emptied. At Beauty World, officers saw that the window had been shattered, the cash register had been busted and the money inside it was taken.

The alarm at Beauty World never activated, Banks said.

Officials with the APD said Monday that detectives and District Capt. Michael Persley are following up on the burglaries and that investigations are ongoing. The burglaries have not been linked and there is little regarding suspect descriptions, Banks said.

Business owners are asked to keep certain crime prevention measures in mind, such as checking for any loose rocks, bricks or cider blocks that may be surrounding their business, making sure all alarms and surveillance video systems are in good working condition, checking all lighting surrounding their business, removing any large signage placed in windows or doors and reporting any suspicious people who appear to be casing the business searching for weak spots.

In a brief news conference Monday, Persley also said that reinforcing windows and doors, keeping registers open overnight and taking money out of registers and either taking the money to the bank or keeping a small amount in a safe can deter break-ins.

In the meantime, outreach efforts are ongoing to help area businesses better protect themselves.

“There are a lot of businesses that have precautionary measures, and we are giving them tips on how to better protect themselves,” Persley said. ” … We have to educate people. We don’t want them to thank they are out there by themselves. There are advances in technology that are cheap that can help (provide protection).

“The more educated they are, (the better off they will be).”