Riverwalk Marina robbery raises safety concerns

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

It's one of Augusta's most popular spots for visitors--but is the Riverwalk becoming a dangerous place for anybody to walk around?

How can you avoid becoming a victim?

Most nights on Augusta's Riverwalk, it's pretty quiet.

But recently, one victim found out that can change in an instant, when he was robbed near the marina.

The man you see here in this surveillance photo from the Georgia Bank and Trust ATM on 8th Street is wanted for robbery.

Officers say he is 17-year-old Alonzo Recordo Brown, wanted for robbery by intimidation, kidnapping, and financial transaction card fraud.

Officers say they have two other suspects in custody.

Deputies are hoping that with your help they can finally close the book on these robbers who may have struck more than once.

As the temperatures start to go up, so does the number of crimes.

"More people are flocking to downtown areas, so we are stepping up patrols," says Sgt. Richard Roundtree of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

"I tell people, especially young women, to be careful. It's not what it used to be," says Garcha Singh. He says since the Marina has become privately owned, there have been a lot more robberies and break-ins.

"No safety or security," Singh says.

So it came as no surprise to Singh when we told him a man was robbed near the 5th Street Marina almost two weeks ago.

When the suspect demanded the victim's money, the victim told him he didn't have any, and even pulled out his wallet to show him. When that wasn't good enough, the suspect demanded he go to the nearest ATM and extract $1,000.

What he didn't know was the surveillance video from the ATM would help police catch two of those suspects.

And that tape also recorded the third man, Alonzo Recordo Brown. Police are still looking for him.

"We issued arrest warrants for the third guy and we're following leads for others, trying to bring all five subjects to justice," Sgt. Roundtree says.

Here are some tips to help keep you safe: Always be aware of your surroundings, try to go out in pairs, and if you are approached by someone and feel uncomfortable in any way, try to get someplace where there are more people.

"If you are approached, we encourage complete compliance, especially if a weapon was brandished," Sgt. Roundtree says. "We can catch the suspects later."

Investigators have two men in custody already, and say there were five involved in the robbery in all.

When this crime happened, it was very late. 3 o'clock in the morning is when it happened. But you should never let your guard down no matter what time of the day it is.

This isn't the only recent attack on the Riverwalk. Back in late May, there were two attacks.

One report says a man was attacked by a group of teenagers while walking along the Riverwalk at night.

Another couple says a group of teenagers assaulted them.

Both of these attacks happened late at night, between 8th and 9th streets.

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