Chief Judge's Albany home is burglarized - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Chief Judge's Albany home is burglarized

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January 20, 2007

Albany -- Dougherty County Circuit Chief Judge Loring Gray's home is burglarized and robbed, and police say they have no suspects in custody. Crimes like burglary continue in Judge Gray's Lake Park neighborhood, despite stepped up efforts by neighbors to have an effective neighborhood watch program.

Residents in Lake Park stay informed of crime in their neighborhood through a private neighborhood watch website and a telephone tree. That's how some neighbors found out about the break-in at Judge Gray's home. Following that news residents say more safety measures are needed.

Neighbors say they're watching out for each other in Lake Park, but crimes continue on these streets. Crimes like the burglary at Dougherty Circuit Chief Judge Loring Gray's Pheasant Drive home. Even so organizers of the watch group say neighborhood watch does make a difference.

"It's certainly a deterrent anyway. It's not going to make all the crime go away, but I think it's definitely a deterrent," said Cheryl Buford.

Watch organizer Cheryl Buford says she's seen the neighborhood watch's impact with more police on the streets and more neighbors communicating through the group. Other neighbors however say they don't feel as safe in their homes as they have in the past.

Just a few weeks ago in Lake Park a woman had to call police to report an unknown man trying to break into the back of her home. It's incidents like these that make some residents question whether neighborhood watch is working, or if police are patrolling effectively enough.

That Lake Park woman didn't want to talk on camera about her incident, but she says she wishes police would be more active in their neighborhood watch. People like Cheryl Buford, however say neighborhood watch does make a difference, so people should continue reporting any suspicious activity to each other and to police.

"I think it's real important for every neighborhood to plan a watch, and get one started, and keep it going and be active it in," said Burford. "I think it does make a difference."

A difference that keeps the 1100 homes in the neighborhood a little safer.

Police responded to the incident at Judge Gray's home around 3:30 Friday afternoon, and say the burglar smashed a back window. Anyone with information should call A-P-D at 431-2100.

To protect your home police suggest you cut back shrubbery, increase lighting around your home, and get an alarm system. APD offers a free security survey of your home, just contact your neighborhood watch group.

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