JOHN'S CREEK, Ky. (WYMT) - Law enforcement officials said small businesses in rural parts of the region sometimes get targeted because of their location.
Some said Mom and Pop's places are just part of a small town.
“Most of those places are five, ten miles in the county,” said Gilbert Acciardo, Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Officials said they often can be eyed by crooks.
“In rural Kentucky, we are just a little more isolated and it does make Mom and Pop's stores a little more of a target,” said Acciardo.
“You never hear of an actual armed robbery at Wal-Mart or K-Mart.”
One man said he prepared himself after other places around him were hit. Garry Thornsberry of John’s Creek said he had no choice but to consider deadly force. He said he even had to shoot at a person when they tried to rob him.
“This person scared everybody, scared all the merchants around here,” said Thornsberry.
“I don't know if that he's robbed any place else since then or not, but it put us on high alert.”
Thornsberry said he went over what to do in that situation with his cashiers a long time ago.
“I told them to give them whatever they wanted,” Thornsberry said.
Law enforcement said one of the reasons they think some small businesses are targeted is because of the location. They said it is important to watch who is coming in and out.
“Be vigilant, keep an eye out,” said Trooper Don Trosper of the Kentucky State Police.
“If it does not look right to you, than it's not.”
Acciardo said even attire can be a dead giveaway.
“If they come in during the summer time and they have got a big old long trench coat on, there's something wrong with that situation,” said Acciardo.
They said to try to avoid being alone
“We like to see at least two people on duty at the business, there's always safety in numbers,” Acciardo said.
Police said panic alarms and surveillance help, but it is important to trust your instincts.
“If they are suspicious of something, than make a phone call to law enforcement and let us come check them,” said Acciardo.
“It's better to be safe than sorry.”
Police also said people should comply with any demands.
“Do what they ask to you to do,” said Trosper.
“It's not worth being injured or losing your life over some money or property.”
The suspects seen in the attempted robbery surveillance video from September in Pike County at the Meta Discount Mart still have not been caught. If you have any information, you should call police.