Tifton-- Business and homeowners in Tifton are on alert. Thieves are targeting them all over town, stealing everything from guns to computers. One business owner had to learn the hard way.
It happened at Garvey and Garvey Properties on East 12th Avenue. "Some time in the middle of the night when we weren't here," said Pete Garvey.
They entered the front door, but not with a key. "Somebody kicked our front door in which was dead bolt locked," said Garvey. Thieves broke in, ransacked the place and stole everything from cash to a brand new computer that used to sit at a now empty desk. Owner Pete Garvey now sits at that same desk, adding up the losses.
"I would say $2,500 to $3,000," said Garvey.
The burglars did leave something behind, a burned surge protector and a big patch of burned carpet while stealing the computer. "Turned over the surge protector going to the computer and the oil or whatever spilled out and caught the brand new carpet on fire," said Garvey.
Tifton Police don't want anyone else to get burned by burglars. "The closer it gets to Christmas, generally things pick up. We've already seen an increase," said Detective Lee Dunston with Tifton Police.
In recent weeks, there have been several burglaries of homes and businesses. Detective Lee Dunston says most are on the North and East sides. "We find that houses get entered during the day and businesses at night," said Dunston.
That's why Dunston urges both home and business owners to be proactive. Have some kind of security in place. For businesses, some kind of surveillance is key. "There's no replacement for that. That's gold," said Dunston.
Everyone especially homeowners should also keep strict records of their property. "Write down serial numbers because most of the time if something is taken from the home, most of the time it's sold or pawned," said Dunston.
And most importantly, have a security system that can alert police of any criminal activity. Garvey will now take that advice.
"We have not had an alarm system in here up until this point but we have a piece of property that we rent to an alarm company right behind us here so I think it'll be a good idea for us to check with them, yes I do," said Garvey.
That way the next time thieves enter his business, they'll be leaving in a police car.
This isn't the first time Garvey has been a crime victim. Just three days before this burglary, a $2,000 trailer was taken from his property.
Another piece of advice from Tifton Police-- Check on your home during the day if you can to make sure everything is okay. If business owners have time, they should drive by their businesses just to make sure things are okay.