Recent armed robberies has Alexandria businesses beefing up security
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The City of Alexandria is once again seeing another spike in crime, causing local business owners to be on high alert entering the busiest shopping season of the year.
“I would like to spend my time helping my paying customers, not worrying about the ones that are in there for other reasons,” said Paula Katz, the General Manager of Security Sporting Goods.
More customers are being driven away as Alexandria businesses have been the target of four armed robberies in November.
Katz said for the first time in 30 years, she’s felt the need to hire private armed security to protect her business during the holiday rush.
“With a string of events and armed robberies that have been happening, we feel like we really didn’t have a choice,” said Katz.
Law enforcement officials said there is a growing trend of more juveniles being involved in what they call crimes of opportunity.
“The more times it happens, it’s more times of a chance of someone getting shot,” said Lt. Lane Windham with the Alexandria Police Department. “The money is not worth your life. Just give them the money out of the cash register and let them go. We will get them later.”
For Katz, this is the second time in as many years that she has had to increase security at her business. In January 2021, Security Sporting Goods was a victim of a burglary where a truck drove through the front door. Barricades and a gate over the front door were added following that incident.
Katz said these types of safety precautions are what’s necessary to protect her employees and shoppers.
“We never thought anything would happen that we would feel the need to have security in our store or have these precautions, but unfortunately, it’s the times we live in right now.”
APD is advising residents to shop in pairs and not alone and be aware of any suspicious behavior, especially at night.
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