Crime rates go up with the temperatures - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crime rates go up with the temperatures

June 26, 2007

Albany--  Murders, burglaries, armed robberies---They've all made headlines in south Georgia the past several weeks. Law enforcers believe there's a direct correlation between rising crime and rising temperatures.  

For the most part, the hotter temperatures are about relaxing and having fun. But it can do a 180 degree turn to something much different.  There was a South Albany murder the first weekend of the summer. The next day, there was a bold robbery of a convenience store. Harold Williams knows crime well.

"Somebody came out and took the chairs off my front porch," said Williams. That's the same month, a summer month, that he rejuvenated his East Albany neighborhood watch. Now that the same season has returned, it means more vigilance.

"Yes I think you have to be a little bit more precautious in the summer months," said Williams.

Dougherty County Assistant Police Chief Cynthia Battle sees an increase in crime as the temperatures rise.  "We do see an increase in different types," said Battle.

In January, there were 9 burglaries compared to nearly double that, 17 in June. Add to that things like theft and entering auto.

"Crimes of opportunity," said Battle. Those are opportunities that can be avoided. For example, it's hot, so you leave your car window cracked or open as you run inside for a minute.  When you return, you could end up hotter than you expected.

"Sometimes they leave items inside of the vehicle and it creates an opportunity for someone to walk by and smash window or open an unlocked door and pick up things," said Battle.

The same thing can happen to your home. Burglars or thieves can be watching you. Battle says there are things you can do to make sure you're not a victim.

"Put up items, pick up items out of your yard. When you leave home, make sure you secure your items," said Battle. That's a lesson Williams learned himself.  His chairs are now chained to his porch.  He'll continue to look out for his neighbors as well. 

"I just feel like Moses who led the children through the valley. You're on a mission, you need to keep pushing," said Williams. He'll continue pushing no matter the season or the time.

Law enforcers say kids being out of school can also contribute to an increase in crime. Dougherty County Police beef up their patrols during the summer months and look out for suspicious activity. If you see anything wrong in your neighborhood, call 911.  

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