"Lake Park muggers" trial begins jury selection - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

"Lake Park muggers" trial begins jury selection

May 21, 2007

Albany -- Remember the robbery spree in the Lake Park subdivision in Northwest Albany? The two men arrested for it are now on trial.

Silas Jackson and Michael Phillips face 23 counts of armed robbery, and aggravated assault for robbing five people at gunpoint in November 2005.

Those robberies helped start a revitalization of Neighborhood Watch Programs across the city, as people said they had to fight back against crime.

Nineteen-year-old Silas Jackson and 23-year-old Michael Phillips walked into the Dougherty County Courtroom, to stand trial for a series of armed robberies in November 2005.

Prosecutors say they took Robert Proctor's 1998 Lincoln at gunpoint, then later that night stuck up Annie Paige and Jermund Pollard in the 700 block of Partridge Drive, but got no money. Prosecutors say as they drove away empty handed, they saw Michael and Mandy Flynn getting out of their car, and stopped and robbed them. The next day prosecutors say Jackson pulled a gun on another man. Both could face decades behind bars.

Those robberies along with a series of other crimes in Northwest Albany that month sparked an outrage to get tough on criminals, and many people became involved in neighborhood watches because of these robberies, including the Flynn's themselves.

Lt. Kenn Singleton of the Albany Police said "We're glad that families such as the Flynn's have come on board and implemented neighborhood watch programs in their perspective neighborhoods."

Singleton said that Neighborhood Watch programs work cutting crime, and that more neighborhoods should get involved before crimes happen. "We want everyone to be proactive. We want to go ahead and get involved in neighborhood watch programs, before a lot of incidents take place in their neighborhoods. If you are already prepared in case of such events like this, you are going to cut down on the opportunity of your family or yourself becoming a victim of some type of crime."

Jury selection began Monday morning in the Jackson and Phillips trial, and the trial is expected to last at least three days.

Albany Police say if you want help starting a neighborhood watch program in your area, call them at 431-2100.

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