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Ballston Spa police: Beware of business burglaries

Several of the people attending the meeting said they are not as concerned about losing money as they are about overall safety, "We have Spanish classrooms and children in our place," said Kim Anderson, owner of Mango Tree Imports in the Carousel Plaza. "I'd like to be kept updated on what happens in other businesses, so all of us can look out for each other."

Of the more than 60 members of BSBPS, fewer than 20 showed up for the crime prevention workshop.

"Business owners haven't shown a lot of concern," said Ellen Mottola, executive administrative assistant of the BSBPA. "They're operating in the theory that ignorance is bliss, but this is a wake-up call for them. The village isn't a bastion of crime, but no place is untouched."

Bush advises storeowners to leave everything untouched if they discover a break-in when they open for business in the morning. "We're not CSI Miami, but we will take fingerprints, and we need an undisturbed crime scene," said Bush.

Bush also said a spike in street drug sales has added to the prevalence of crime.

"Drug use isn't just in New York City, Albany or Schenectady; there are street level drugs right here in the village," said Bush. "People turn to crime to feed the drug habit. If you're approached by a robber outside your business or home, hand your money over and then call the police. Don't fight, comply."

Bush said the village police are available to escort storeowners to banks to make their deposits before closing, and also to conduct a security survey to determine how burglars could gain access to their building.

"They can even push in an air conditioner and climb on in," said Bush. "These are things people don't think about; you have to see it through the eyes of the criminal."

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