Recent robberies prompt more security

As we reported earlier, Columbia police have responded to 5 robberies since the night before Thanksgiving.

No one has been arrested and investigators don TMt have a connection between any of the recent robberies.

Authorities said it TMs not unusual to see more robberies during the holiday season. That TMs why the owner of Mari TMs Convenience Store in North Columbia spent thousands of dollars on a new digital security system. The system has more than 40 cameras and a flat screen closed circuit television near the cash register.

Business Owner Rafiqul Khan said, We have more cameras than any small business like ours. We TMre adding more. We feel pretty confident that if somebody comes here we TMll recognize them. At least, we TMll get their picture right.

Angie Sexton is new on the job. She feels safer knowing more than 40 cameras are watching every move of her customers.

Sexton said, They TMre catching what goes on. If something does happen, they TMre on camera and they can be caught.

Surveillance video can only do so much. Many robbers wear bandannas and masks to hide their faces, making it nearly impossible for investigators to identify their suspects.

Every suspect involved with Columbia TMs 5 recent robberies was either wearing a bandanna or a mask over their face.

Khan said, We pay a little more attention to those people in the parking lot and inside. These cameras and monitor are going to deter lots of people.

Khan said he has a bigger problem with people stealing merchandise than cash out of the drawer. He hopes his new digital security system makes criminals think twice before robbing his store.

In addition to security cameras, Khan also upgraded his lighting systems in his building and parking lot to help prevent robberies.