Violent Crime on the Rise - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Violent Crime on the Rise

September 25, 2007

Albany - - There's been eight murders in Albany this year. That's the same number as all of last year and all of 2005 as well. It's proof that violent crime is up. New stats show a two percent increase in Albany and nationwide, with more crime taking place in the South than in any other region.

At Charlie and Pearl's Restaurant in South Albany, you'll find good food on the inside and burglar bars greeting you outside.

"There was once upon a time when it was confined to one area but its on the rise in different communities and in any community now," says Owner Kary Porter about crime.

Albany had more than 1600 burglaries last year and Kary Porter's restaurant was one of them. The criminal used desperate measures to get inside.

"He actually knocked a two to three foot whole in the center block and crawled in."

Then they struck again at his grocery store next door.

"In the last five days burglars have tried to break into the back door," Porter says.

According to the FBI's latest findings the problem spreads nationwide. With a two percent increase of violent crime in 2006. Albany's crime is up by the same amount.

"We're using overtime to enhance our visibility," says APD Chief James Younger.

He says his department will be up to full staff in January. He says officers are already increasing patrol in hot spots. The rest he says lies with you.

"If they see suspicious activity, please call because even if a police officer arrives and that suspicious person or vehicle has left the scene, that call is logged and what that helps me do is make decisions about how many officers I need to deploy to certain areas," Younger says.

Porter says he'll keep the good food coming, but...

"Sometimes we do feel unsafe."

So he'll keep his businesses secure, both of them.

Chief Younger says he's seeing an increase in young criminals, some as young as 10.

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