EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - With many businesses now sitting empty, some owners fear they could become easy targets for criminals.
That’s why the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office is passing along a few tips to help store owners avoid becoming a victim. A job he says everyone can help with.
While stores look forward to the return of customers, there are some unwanted visitors they hope stay away.
“Our deputies are going to be checking business as much as possible,” said Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie.
Checking for possible break-ins. Something hard for store owners to monitor from a distance.
Of course, if you already had security cameras, motion sensor lights or other systems set up that’s a great start.
But there’s another tool Sheriff McDuffie thinks is crucial right now; each other.
“Call the people that are around your business, call the people that are around your house, let them know what’s going on. ‘Hey, because of COVID-19 I’ve had to close my business.'"
If you see something that looks suspicious.
“Call us. Call 911 immediately let us know what’s going on," said Sheriff McDuffie, "it’s not a bother. We would rather come and there be nothing going on than get there after someone has kicked the door in or busted the house in.”
If criminals are thinking they’ll get off light right now because they’re limiting the intake at the jail right now, McDuffie says think again.
“We’re not stopping. If you commit a criminal act, we’re going to put you in jail for it. That’s just the way it is.”
But the sheriff hopes that isn’t an issue. Hoping this ongoing pandemic would bring out the best in each other, not the worst.
“Right now, we need to be together thinking about what we can do to help each other not steal from each other.”
Again, Sheriff McDuffie highlighted the importance of “if you see something, say something."
They do have the 411 tip service, but when it comes to a break-in, you should call 911 right away and not wait before it’s too late.