Guns top the stolen item list in burglaries -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Guns top the stolen item list in burglaries

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Teenaged gang members have created a black market for weapons on the streets of Albany, and hunting rifles are in high demand.

Some of those guns are off the streets and three suspected thieves are behind bars.  Sheriff's Investigators say burglars are hunting for shotguns and rifles. It has some east side neighbors carrying guns of their own.

In this case, a tip from the community led investigators to a shed on Woodridge Court. Neighbors told me fed up with crime on what they say used to be one of the best neighborhoods in Dougherty County.

Five stolen guns are off the streets, locked up in the evidence locker at the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office. It's a relief to Johnnie Greene who lives on Woodridge Court not far from where they were found. He had two guns stolen in a burglary in the last year.

"Ransacked the whole house, took out the whole back glass out of the back sliding back door," said Johnnie Greene, a Neighbor.

The rifles and shotguns were found on a sofa bed in the shed under a blanket. Sheriff's investigators arrested a 15 and 16 year old and 17 year old TyraFred Campbell. They're still looking for Michael Reese. Investigators say hunting rifles and shotguns are what thieves are looking for. "Guns are a hot item, guns are just as hot as cash," said Captain Craig Dodd, Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

In fact just in the city of Albany in August, 23 guns were reported stolen in burglaries. Nine of those were recovered leaving two thirds of them on the streets.

"It's good that we got these things off the street because we don't want them in the hands of someone who might use them for something bad," said Lt. Anita Allen.

Neighbors are fighting back, by tipping off investigators. Johnnie Greene got his conceal carry permit.

"Watch TV with it, go to the rest room with it, keep it with me at all times," said Greene.

To protect his home from what stolen guns remain on the streets of his neighborhood.>

Because thieves are targeting shotguns and rifles when they break into a home, investigators say if you're not using the weapon you should lock it in a safe. If you don't have a safe, they recommend dismantling the weapon and storing it in different areas of the home.

Sheriff's investigators are also looking at a possible connection between the stolen guns and an indoor marijuana growing operation busted in the neighborhood earlier in the week.

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