About a dozen Macon merchants attend crime seminar

Employees of Chichester’s on Vineville Avenue are tired of falling victim to shoplifting.

That’s why employee Terry Tripp said she attended a Thursday business armed robbery and crime prevention seminar hosted by the Macon Police Department.

Tripp, a former Bibb County school board member, said the store already has hired a security guard and posted signs denying children access to the store without a parent.

Because many of the store’s employees are women, she said she wanted to learn ways to make the store safer and less inviting to thieves.

Thursday, police officer Wanda Ammons shared crime prevention tips with more than a dozen merchants gathered at the noon seminar. Another seminar was scheduled for Thursday night.

Ammons suggested businesses label portable equipment to help police recover stolen items.

“Anything they can come in and take out of your store, mark it,” she said, adding that businesses also should write down serial numbers of items.

The time of day that employees make bank deposits should be varied, and at least two employees should drive to the bank in separate cars for night deposits, Ammons said.

If a business is robbed, Ammons said merchants should instruct employees to do what the robber tells them.

“A person’s life can’t be replaced,” she said.

Tripp, the Chichester’s employee, said she took lots of notes during the seminar and plans to share handouts with her fellow employees.

“I learned a lot,” she said.

Upon request, the police will perform security surveys for businesses, said police Maj. Tonnie Williams.

For more information, call the department’s Youth and Intervention Division at 803-2710.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.