Thomasville, Georgia-- Thomasville Police Officers are spreading the word early about burglaries over the holidays to help keep you from becoming a victim.
Unfortunately, burglaries and entering autos are on the rise," says Thomasville Police Detective, James Coker. Fortunately, so are the arrests Coker and other detectives are making in the cases.
But the TPD still wants people to be proactive in protecting themselves. "Criminals have to have three things to commit a crime. That's the desire to do it, the ability to do it, and the opportunity. We leave our doors unlocked, we leave valuables on our seat, well that's just an invitation for a criminal. I recommend people close their curtains when they're not at home so people can't see inside their homes," says Sergeant Rachelle Denmark.
The car break-ins are happening all over Thomasville. But most of the cars targeted are hit in parking lots. The burglaries are also happening all over town. Police don't think they're connected. "If we make it hard for the criminal to have that opportunity than they're more than likely not going to commit the crime," says Denmark.
Since the holiday season started, burglaries and car break-ins are up 33% since last year. There's a combined total of 57 of each compared to 41 at this time last year. Coker hopes to bring that stat back down in 2006. "I'm working on a few of each," he says. To help reduce that workload, street officers are starting more aggressive patrols, immediately.
Officers say not to hesitate calling 911 if you see something even remotely suspicious. Even a first time burglary conviction can get the criminal up to 20 years in prison.