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Cracking down on crime at convenient stores

Posted at 9:32 AM, Feb 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-27 16:53:42-05

You may be buying your morning cup of coffee at a convenient store that's up to no good. That's why state and local officials met Friday to unveil a new campaign to make neighborhoods safer.

Lawmakers are looking for stores that are illegally selling loose cigarettes, drug paraphernalia, stolen merchandise and conducting other illegal activity.

"These business owners are creating an environment that's just a breeding ground for criminal activity," Council Member Chris Scanlon said. "Both inside the stores and outside the stores and it's spilling out into our neighborhoods."

Scanlon says this a warning, not to scare away the businesses that are practicing good, honest, business but those who are breaking the law.

"Look out for transactions, look out for people looking for specific things you've never heard of," Council Member Richard Fontana said. "Look out for stores that have merchandise in them you know stores should not have a generator for sale or tools for sale or musical equipment or phones, that could all be stolen merchandise."

Officials say they seem to see more problems at stores that sell alcohol than those stores that don't. The State Liquor Authority (SLA) will work with local and state government to try and eliminate or reduce this problem.

You can report illegal activity by calling police or contacting the SLA directly at (518) 474-3114 ext 2 or going to their website.