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ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police say they are seeing more criminal activity in early morning hours. They're urging people and businesses to take precautions to protect themselves and their property.
In the middle of the afternoon, during the heat of the day, Albany Police stats show a decrease in incident reports. But just after midnight crime has increased. Of course school is out, and people suspect that kids could be out late at night into mischief.
Girl's Inc. found six of their passenger van's windows shattered Saturday morning when they came to work. They worry it might be the start of a repeat of last year's crime that started this time of year.
Girl's Inc. Executive Director LaKisha Bryant said "Last year we saw three acts of vandalism that happened during the spring, summer months. They were night time crimes."
At 3:00AM Saturday morning in the 1300 block of 8th Avenue 46-year-old Robert Clark said a man jumped out in front of his car, forcing him to stop. The man snatched open Clark's car door, and sprayed mace in his face, while demanding his wallet. Another early morning crime that Albany Police are monitoring.
From April to May, crime incidents from Midnight to One AM increased from 68 to 76. From 1 AM to 2 AM an increase from 43 to 61 over the month before.
Albany Police spokesperson Phyllis Banks Whitley said "We have seen a slight increase, but at this point there is really nothing that we can tie to why we have seen those increases."
The 8th Avenue thief ran away empty handed. Clark was treated by EMS there, but was not seriously injured. Police want people to know that criminals are out in the early morning hours, and you have to keep your guard up, even when driving.
Banks-Whitley said "Check your surroundings. Try not to fall victim to those cries for false help. Anyone bumping the rear of your car."
Girl's Inc. mission is to keep kids busy and teach them values, so it is ironic they are the target of early morning crime, suspected done by kids, and very costly, the van windows will cost two thousand dollars to repair.
"To have this come on the heels of find out funding being cut, it impacts how we continue to serve kids and keep them away from that type of activity," Bryant said.
In their hourly crime incidents, from April to May crime dropped dramatically from 4 to 8PM, during the heat of the afternoon. More than likely criminals and vandals staying cool inside. In April, the peak time for crime was between five and six p.m.