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Green Bay Calls for Crackdown on C-Store Robberies

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In the wake of numerous robberies in the past year, Green Bay Alderman Christopher Wery said recent city legislation has not addressed regulations that could help prevent convenience store theft, and needs to take action, reported the Green Bay News-Chronicle.

In the first nine months of 2004, there were 13 robbery offenses against convenience stores. They amounted to more than $3,700 in stolen goods or money. Four offenses in 2003 resulted in $1,308 of stolen inventory. In 2002 there were six offenses totaling $2,645 in stolen property. There were two incidents of theft in 2001, but nothing of monetary value was stolen. There were no offenses committed in 2000.

Wery said that similar to a brief wave of drive-by shootings in recent years, convenience store robberies might just be the latest fad in crime.

Trendy or not, the Green Bay Police Department offers free surveys to small businesses, including convenience stores, where a crime prevention officer will visit the store and recommend how to increase security. One suggestion from Green Bay Police Department director of crime prevention Lynn Munger is scheduling more than one clerk overnight, but said he expects business owners to shy away from that option because of cost.

While some cities require multiple clerks, the idea has not been studied by the Green Bay Protection and Welfare Committee.

Wery, committee chairman, believes preserving the community police program relieves some of the crime, even for convenience stores. Another profit-friendly security mechanism for convenience stores might be sharing the same building with a fast-food restaurant.

Dorothy Brice, owner of a Velp Mobile Mart and Car Wash, said her store clerk works until the same late-night hour as does the employee of the adjoining Arby's Roast Beef Restaurant. It has added security from an arrangement intended to draw more business, she said.
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