ALBANY, GA (WALB) – It's often a crime that causes more emotional pain than physical loss. One East Albany woman says a break-in last week left her and her daughter frightened to leave the house but also scared to stay inside.
Lori Malone's story is probably familiar to hundreds of crime victims throughout South Georgia. They feel violated and scared in their own home after thieves broke in. She thinks one answer to fighting crime in Albany is more recreation and activities for young people.
One week ago today, Lori Malone and her 15 year old daughter went to a mid-afternoon appointment and returned to find their home burglarized. "It's not just the stuff that they took. It's my house defiled. You are supposed to feel safe in your home," Malone said.
The thieves broke out a back window, then reached through and opened the back door. They stole her TV, microwave, dishes, and clothes. But she says they took something even more precious.
"I can't replace the stuff they took, but I'm trying to replace the peace they stole from me."
Malone lives in the Lakewood Subdivision in East Albany, a rough part of town known for gang activity. Malone says at night the neighborhood gets noisy with the sound of parties and often even gunfire.
"It's a rough neighborhood. My daughter has gotten to the point where she doesn't go out and play. She stays in the house."
Friends gave Malone a young puppy that barks to help alert them, but she worries with summer coming and kids out of school, crime will get worse. She thinks activities for the students would cut crime in her neighborhood.
"I think the kids around here need a place where they can do something. To keep out of trouble."
Now Lori Malone has jammed her electric wheelchair against the back door to keep any other thieves from breaking in there. And prays with her daughter everyday that the Lord will keep them safe.
Police took fingerprints off the broken back window, and even found blood where the burglar cut himself on the glass. But so far she has not heard back from Investigators. She says sometimes she feels like a prisoner in her own home, afraid to leave.
Albany Police say they have solved several burglaries lately and put suspects in jail, but the large number of burglaries continues.