No Macon business owners attend robbery prevention seminars

The Macon Police Department hosted two business and armed robbery prevention seminars Thursday in hopes of educating local merchants about safety.

But no one came to either of the seminars held at noon and 6 p.m.

Major Tonnie Williams said he’s not discouraged.

“It means the business owners and managers in Macon are working,” he said. “Or maybe they didn’t hear about it.”

Sgt. Sarita Thomas said the seminar has been held annually for four years, but this is the first year the police have added an armed robbery emphasis.

Police crime statistics show robberies are on the rise in Macon. In response, the police formed a robbery task force in February.

Thomas said the seminar typically is held during the summer, but was offered earlier this year due to the increased number of robberies.

Williams said most of the advice typically conveyed during the seminars involves fairly inexpensive changes.

“This is stuff that with $200 you could make your business less accessible to a burglar and less attractive to an armed robbery,” he said.

For example, officer Wanda Ammons said businesses should consider having two people working when a business is opening and closing.

The extra manpower allows one person to open or close the business while the other person acts as a look out for potential safety risks, she said.

Williams said the seminar will be offered again Thursday and will be advertised.

Thomas said volunteers will be visiting businesses beginning Monday and handing out flyers advertising Thursday’s seminar.

“People need to have some knowledge to go on to reduce their chances of being a victim of crime,” she said.

Upon request, the police also offer security surveys for businesses, Williams said.

For more information, call the police Youth and Intervention division at 803-2710.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report. Staff writer Ashley Tusan Joyner contributed to this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.