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Bibb Sheriff's Office links dollar store robberies, talks security with business owners

Deputies arrested a man who they believe is involved in a string of dollar store robberies / Evan Watson (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- The Bibb County Sheriff's Office now believes an arrest made this weekend is tied to 14 dollar store robberies in Macon this summer.

Investigators arrested 39-year-old Bennie Willis Saturday after deputies said he burglarized a Family Dollar on Bloomfield Road.

Talking to Bibb county business owners, Investigator Dennis Terry revealed new information Wednesday.

"We think that this person that we arrested is linked to all of the burglaries of the Family Dollar, Dollar General," Terry said.

It's just what these business owners were hoping to hear.

"I think it makes everyone nervous," said Mark Coley, owner of Texas Border Grill. "Today finding out some arrests have been made I think it made us feel a lot better."

"I'll tell you this, since we made that arrest it's been quiet," Terry said.

The sheriff's office tells business owners to protect their stores with alarms, metal bars, and lighting.

"A lot of times it's simply a matter of getting people in the same room and understand what causes the crime and ways to prevent it," Coley said.

"My suggestion is if you own a business, make your business the hardest one on the block to break into," advised Sgt. Richard Senter.

The sheriff's office also asks business owners to upgrade their security cameras - often the best ways to catch criminals.

"We're here to support and serve you all, so whatever you all need from us we're willing to do for you," Terry said.

Investigator Kenneth Hester promises more arrests.

"A bunch of leads that we're following up, and hopefully pretty soon we'll be able to come out and tell you all the fruits of our labor," Hester said.

Both groups said they are frustrated with a "revolving door" justice system that they say puts criminals back on the streets too soon.


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