Economy may be to blame for string of robberies, burglaries

Two masked intruders burglarize the Dollar General store on W. Kelly Street in Sylvester August 6.

UPDATE: Sylvester police have arrested 20-year-old Jerimiah McGee for the robberies. Police say he turned himself in and admitted to committing the robberies.

Officers are still looking for two more persons of interest, Joseph Nelson and Michael Nixon, both are from Albany.

Last week it was Arby's on N. Slappey Blvd. This week it was The Winery on Gillionville Road. But there have been burglaries in other towns, too. A dollar store in Sylvester was broken into twice last week.

Sylvester police are looking for five people in two separate burglaries at the Dollar General on W. Kelly Street. Three masked men broke into the store on Aug. 4, taking deodorant and other small items. Two days later, two intruders broke into the same store and stole $350 worth of white T-shirts, police said.

Authorities said the rash of robberies and burglaries might have to do with the economic downturn.

In all but one of the robberies and burglaries, the intruders were wearing masks or obscuring their faces with clothing. Authorities said that while that makes it difficult to identify them with surveillance video, it is not impossible.

"It make it hard to identify someone, but we have other means and methods of proving the person who did it," said Det. Kenneth Washington of the Sylvester Police Department.

"There's a lot of jobs out there that are missing â" people not working as much as they would like," said Eric Rozier, a criminal investigator at the Albany Police Department. Rozier said crime tends to spike during the summer months.

Rozier said small business owners can protect themselves by making their storefront windows as clean as possible.

"You don't want to use too many posters â" advertising signs on your windows. That way people can see inside and you can see outside," Rozier said.

If you have any information on the Sylvester burglaries, you are asked to call Sylvester police.

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