A former New York City detective who worked on cases like the Son of Sam was in Whiteville today educating business owners on protecting themselves from property crimes. Did you ever know that putting signs in the windows of your store could actually tempt a criminal to break-in? Bad visibility for workers is something criminals look for. Business owners like Terry Mann already take steps to protect his business, but there is more he could do. "The few break-ins we've had over the years have been rocks or bricks thrown through the windows. And people just pull things out of the showcases and leave with them,” Mann stated. Business owners in Whiteville heard tips from former New York City Detective Bob Poisella. One way he suggests business owners stay safe is to keep their storefronts clear and tidy. “This person who maintains his property is territorial and will defend it,” Poisella said. One tip for business owners is to put things like tables and chairs and benches outside their stores. It encourages people to sit down, and typically people won't commit crimes if there are witnesses around. According to the Sheriff's Department, in Columbus County there are anywhere from five to eight breaks-ins in a given week. They hope by educating business owners to be proactive, their property crime rates will eventually go down.
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