Police fight holiday crime - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Police fight holiday crime

December 18, 2006

Valdosta - Bill Huling's week got off to a rough start after receiving a call from the Valdosta Police early this morning.  "We got here and a brick had been thrown through the front door," Huling says.

They found burglars had made off with the cash register and petty cash.  "e didn't loose much cash, we don't keep much cash here at night but just the thought of people breaking into your place this time of year is disheartening," he adds.

The break-in at A to Z's Uniform Shop is among a string of thefts this shopping center has seen since Thanksgiving.  Police say it's part of an increase in crime they see around the holiday season.  "We fully expect during thanksgiving and Christmas holidays that our vehicle break ins will go up. We fully expect our burglaries will go up," says Capt. Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police.

But the Police are doing all they can to keep these crimes to a minimum by creating a burglary squad, starting neighborhood watches, and noting burglary hot spots on police computers.  "That's a problem area for us in November coming into December."

Using these maps, they beef up patrols in these problem areas.  "This is where we are having a problem at so I want you to concentrate your officers and have them patrol more often down here."

Since then, they've seen a decrease of thefts in the mapped areas and hope by continuing this proactive approach they will reduce holiday crime.

Police say there are easy steps to keep yourself from being a theft victim during the holidays.

When you're shopping, make sure you stow your gifts in the trunk and lock all your doors.

Store owners should be sure all lights around their shops work properly. And starting a watch system with neighboring businesses is a good idea.

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