Small businesses try to curb crime

Montgomery, Ala. (WSFA) -- It's hard enough for local businesses during a downturn in the economy.

"I'm doing everything that I can just to survive," explained Daisy Dempsey, who runs a shop along Montgomery's Mulberry Street.

Sales are steady, but a recent break-in hit her hard.

"We had let a lady use the restroom, and she unlocked the window.  They came back that night. They stole the laptop computer, the money out of the register," Dempsey said.

Thursday night, thieves used an oversized hammer to break into and steal her husband's tow truck, parked behind her store.

"Other than this store, that is our only way of making money," Dempsey explained.

"Somebody busted the window out of it and took off with the vehicle."

It's something rarely seen along this strip.  Crime is relatively low.

Still, any business burglary could cost a boatload.

"Most of these break-ins or a broken window--it's not covered by any insurance and it comes out of our own pockets," said Linda Jones, President of the Mulberry Business District Association.

So, what can you do?

Dempsey installed a security system and posted signs outside her business, asking passersby to call police if they see anything suspicious.

"People will see the signs and say, 'Hey, nobody's supposed to be there after 6 o'clock,'" Dempsey hoped.

Posting signs and keeping an eye out for fellow businesses could help.

"About all we can do is pray and work together as a neighborhood association of retailers," Jones said.

With that in mind, Dempsey says she's ready to move forward.

"As long as customers keep coming to us and keep spending their money, we'll make it," she said.