Family Dollar employee makes fearful 911 call, discovers 'intruder' is manager
MACON, Ga. -- After multiple dollar store robberies in the Middle Georgia area last year, convenience stores employees have become much more concerned for their safety.
One employee of a Family Dollar on Mercer University Dr. made a recent call to Macon-Bibb 911 Dispatch when she feared the worst - that she was caught in the middle of a possible armed robbery.
An open records request to county dispatch showed that the female employee counting money in a back room called 911 after she noticed a person entering the store after hours and looking through a safe behind the front counter.
The employee told dispatch that she saw the man on a security camera and had locked herself in the back room. Fearing for her safety, the woman asked for deputies to come to the store quickly.
"Please. I'm at Family Dollar. Someone is inside the store stealing. Me and my cashier is in the office with the door locked," she said.
Macon-Bibb Dispatch replied, "Okay you say they're in the [store] stealing, shoplifting?"
The employee pleaded back, "They're in there right now. Please hurry."
However, as Bibb County deputies arrived and approached the front door, the employee who made the 911 call saw that the alleged intruder was actually the store manager, who had come in to check on the store after hours.
The employee said, "Oh my god that's my store manager."
Dispatch said to the woman, "Are you serious?"
The relieved employee replied, "Yes! I am so sorry. She scared the heck out of us!"
Beverly Burke, who also works at the Family Dollar store, did not make the 911 call but was there on the night of the presumed robbery. She said that it's common for people in her line of work to anticipate robberies and has noticed all of the armed robbery reports in Macon over the past year.
Burke was robbed at gunpoint herself working at a store several years ago and still remembers how terrifying it was. Still, she said that a person can't focus on expecting incidents like a robbery while at work.
"You can't do that and work here. You come in, do your job and go home," Burke said.