GPD offers tips for crime prevention after string of armed robberies

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Greenville police said they are devoting their resources to investigating three armed robberies of Greenville businesses over the past few days, but they also want to provide advice on how business owners can prevent crime.

Shane Merritt’s business, Wings over Greenville, was broken into Sunday night.

“I was turning to go inside the door and saw the two guys chasing with guns,” said Merritt. “I ran into a store, and they were right there.”

He is one of several recent armed robbery victims.

“I didn’t get really worried until he was just waving it around, kind of felt like it was an accident waiting to happen,” Merritt said.

The Speedway on Greenville Boulevard was robbed at gunpoint later that night, and the most recent incident was on Tuesday morning at Circle K on Evans Street.

“Occasionally, we do see an increase in crimes,” said Kristen Hunter, public information officer for Greenville police. “That includes both property crimes and violent crimes.”

Hunter said in order to help prevent crime before it happens, business owners should follow a few steps:

  • Have surveillance cameras.
  • Keep a height marker at doorways to help provide a suspect description to police.
  • Make sure there is a clear line of sight in and out.

“Try to avoid having any sort of posters or shelves in front of the windows,” Hunter said. “That allows employees to see outside who is coming in, and for people on the outside to see inside the business if a robbery were occurring.”

Authorities are looking into the possibility that these three crimes may be related.

“The suspects, they may not be driving a car themselves, but they could have a getaway car waiting nearby or someone scoping out outside the business to make sure no one comes in,” said Hunter. “So it’s a good point to make to be aware of your surroundings, not just inside the business, but be aware of the business outside as well.”

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