The owner of a local party supplies store says in his business's 60 years in Albany, they've never experienced anything as terrifying as the armed robbery Thursday afternoon.
Jerry Doyal, owner of Doyal's on West Oglethorpe Boulevard, says he was arranging some balloons for a customer when a man waiting in line approached him with his back toward him and asked for change for a dollar. Doyal then opened the register to give the man four quarters.
"He said I've got something else for you and he turned around and had a rifle," Doyal said. "I don't know what kind of gun it was but it looked like an assault rifle."
Doyal says he knew what to do to stay safe after watching a training video several years ago that taught how to properly react during an armed robbery. He says he did not make direct eye contact with the man.
"I feel violated," Doyal said. "It scared me. We've been here 63 years serving the southside of Albany."
Albany Police are encouraging businesses to get acquainted with nearby businesses to keep a close eye out for one another. Also, police say it's important to keep video surveillance up to date.
The suspect was a black male who is 5'9" and wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.
Doyal says after the robbery, he has decided to close his business by the end of October.
If you have any information on the burglary, you're encouraged to contact the Albany Police Department's Criminal Investigations Bureau at (229) 431-3288.