Burglary No. 4 the final straw for Montgomery business owner; Reward offered

Updated: Dec. 21, 2016 at 10:45 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) - An east Montgomery business owner is fed up and taking action after falling victim to theft one too many times. The latest burglary also has officials warning business owners to take precautions.

It all started on Halloween when thieves broke a $1,300 side window on Don Patel's Shell Station along Taylor Road, across from AUM. Then a week after that, Patel says, "there were four persons came in and they tried to pry the door open."

According to Patel, late last month criminals busted in the back door of the Shell Convenience Store he's owned for eight years.

"They opened the glass up and came in through there, and that was our major robbery for over $7,000 dollars," Patel explained.

Patel hit a breaking point early Wednesday morning when a side window was busted out causing another $500 in damage, all for a couple packs of $6 cigarettes.

"This is the fourth time happening, and it's something that is going on and on you know I just wish it stops because of that I'm willing to put up a $500 reward," the owner said.

Four burglaries in a month, racking up over $10,000 in damage.

"I work very hard, my customers sees me working hard as well, they appreciate me. But when we see something like this I just wish there was an end to it," Patel said.

Tony Garrett with CrimeStoppers sees a spike in burglaries and thefts during the holidays.

"Because of the holiday traffic they try and blend in and try to become less suspicious because of all that holiday activity," Garrett warned.

He advises business owners to be on alert and to make sure their surveillance systems are recording high-quality images.

"Go ahead and pull a sample, go outside and see if you can see yourself, see if you can recognize yourself on your own video surveillance, that would be a great thing for law enforcement and CrimeStoppers," said Garrett.

Patel just upgraded his system after it was damaged in one of the burglaries. He has a plea for the thieves making it hard for him to keep the doors to his business open.

"Stop what you're doing you know, make an honest living and you know fear for God because someone is watching," he urged.

Patel says he plans to talk to his landlord to see if there is any way to place some additional metal storefront gates around the building.

We reached out to the Montgomery Police Department and they say Wednesday's break-in is currently under investigation.

If you have any information that could help authorities, please call CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP. Remember, Patel is putting up a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the burglars.

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