Albany neighborhood watch crime concerns - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany neighborhood expresses crime concerns

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – An East Albany neighborhood watch President says it's time to stand up to the criminals. He called a special neighborhood watch meeting, and he wants everybody concerned about crime in east Albany to show up.

He says they need to work together to take back their neighborhoods.

The Colonial Village Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most successful community crime fighting groups in Albany. But their President, Harold Williams, says the group may have let down their guard lately. He hopes to get the community revitalized at a meeting this weekend.

 An East Albany neighborhood watch President says it's time to stand up to the criminals. He called a special neighborhood watch meeting, and he wants everybody concerned about crime in east Albany to show up. He says they need to work together to take back their neighborhoods.

The Colonial Village Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most successful community crime fighting groups in Albany. But their President, Harold Williams, says the group may have let down their guard lately. He hopes to get the community revitalized at a meeting this weekend.

Harold Williams spotted the empty window where an air conditioner usually sits in this Hobson Drive home Wednesday morning. The captain of the Colonial Village Neighborhood watch looked on the other side of the house, and the other air conditioner had also been stolen.

What really worried him is that it's directly across the street from his home. And it's the second recent air conditioner theft there. Williams said "See the house right back there behind it, they took that one about one month ago. It's a brand new one. They took that one."

The Colonial Village Neighborhood Watch is well known for planting flowers in the community, beautifying it to let criminals know they are not welcome. They have seen great success, until recently, as more long time residents leave their homes. Williams said "empty houses. As soon as someone moves out, it's empty, they go and snatch the unit's out. We lucky they didn't snatch the plumbing and other stuff out."

The people who live in this East Albany region are aging, and Williams says they are scared by the criminal element they see moving around them. Williams said "I know the kids are bad, a lot of it may be gangs. I don't know. But the people are kind of afraid, they kind of afraid of what is going on."

 Williams says a lot of his neighbors are arming themselves. Williams said "A lot of people have guns. A lot of people buying guns." And he says he worries neighbors who have never had guns could turn his street into the Old West.

Williams said "You don't want that to happen. We don't want Albany to get so people shoot at everything that comes up to the door. Because that is going to be some innocent children."

Williams says neighborhood watch members may have relaxed, and now is the time to get on guard again, because he sees evidence crime is coming back to his street again.

Yesterday we told you about business owners on Clark Avenue who have been recent crime victims and this neighborhood is just behind those businesses. Harold Williams says the people in the neighborhood have to keep an eye on empty houses, because that is where criminals will congregate.

 Williams invites anyone in East Albany concerned about crime to attend the Neighborhood Watch meeting.

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