COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Gas stations seem to be a big target for armed robberies, especially this time of year.
We have reported more than half a dozen hold ups just in the last month alone. Columbus police tell us they are beefing up patrols around the so called hot spots.
The Fuel Tech on Veterans Parkway just across from BTW public housing is open around the clock. News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles spoke to a clerk who's been on the job there for two years and surprisingly, she says they've never been robbed.
Anju Patel knows she has a dangerous job. She says the most she's had to deal with are unruly customers.
"Police help all the time, when I call; they come and help us out at night time," Patel said.
Patel says officers keep a close eye on her store, checking the premises every 10 to 15 minutes.
Most stores, like the Fuel Tech, have surveillance cameras mounted throughout the store and that means you can see everyone from any angle.
But a regular customer, who doesn't want his face shown, says cameras aren't a real deterrent for potential robbers. He says there's a real reason why the Fuel Tech Food Mart on Veterans Parkway near the Civic Center hasn't been hit.
"A robber is going to know they can recognize me if they have a mask on or not...you know if you know that person."
He says the 'no loitering' policy enforced by a lot of stores is counterproductive.
"I've been around here since 1962 and this store has never been robbed and these stores need to consider that."
The most recent robbery happened overnight at the Circle K on 12th Avenue.
Police tell us they are adding extra patrols to bring guys who are doing this to justice and we're told they do have some leads.