Community looks for security after the death of well-known busin - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Community looks for security after the death of well-known businessman

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

It was a shocking scene for the city of Columbus on Wednesday.  Crime tape was around the well-known Gold and Silver Trading Center, and its manager, Steve Toms, shot multiple times. 

Police are not releasing a motive yet, but family members believe this was a robbery. 

The crime has many offering condolences and prayers for the family of Steve Toms. 

John Coppers, with A-Com Protection Services, Inc., says the crime is also prompting other businesses to look for better ways to protect themselves.

"It's really heightening a lot of fears for business owners all over Columbus that it could happen at any time," said Coppers.

Coppers says after this latest deadly crime, more businesses have called in the last few days wanting to add security systems or upgrade the one they already have.

"Security systems are great for property safety, but they're great for life safety as well because it's going to alert you if somebody's come into your business.  It's going to make sure that you don't walk in on someone who's already in there," said Coppers.

Lola Obebe's says her family's business, Jo'lami Boutique and Spa, has a full security system.  However, she says the tragedy made them re-evaluate their protection.

"Go back and look at what kind of emergency policies you have in place if anything were to happen.  As a community, I think it's just sad because as a local business people know you and people know your family, and it makes you sad to think someone would want to hurt someone else's family," said Obebe.

Coppers says cameras can help deter criminals, but it's also important to defend your business in other ways.

"You really need a security system with panic buttons for police on the keys pads.  You can also get portable panic buttons that can be under a desk."

Columbus police say they are following leads in the investigation into the murder of Steve Toms, but no arrests have been made.

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