Burglaries in rural Dougherty County increase - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Burglaries in rural Dougherty County increase

January 7, 2008

Dougherty County -- Dougherty County Police are stepping up patrols around rural homes, because of an increase in burglaries. Burglars are targeted homes while people are away.

Investigators say they want to warn people, so they can make their homes "hard targets" for crooks.

 Greg McNeil returned to his home on Nelms Road Thursday to find he had been burglarized. McNeil said "found the window broke in the front of the house. The house was ransacked, things knocked over."

 There's been a rash of these burglaries.  Dougherty County Police Captain Jimmy Sexton said "it's a big crime problem, and if you are the victim it's a huge crime problem."

McNeil said "it didn't really concern me that things were missing. It's that somebody was in your house when you weren't at home."

 McNeil had very little stolen. The crooks dropped a pistol and change as they ran for their car, the change still scattered across his yard.

But Police want to warn people that have seen an increase in burglaries, six in the new year so far. And that people should make it hard for crooks to know if anyone is at home. Sexton said "The harder you make it for them, the more likely they are to go somewhere else."

 McNeil has taken that advice. McNeil said "I put dead bolts in and an alarm system."

 Dougherty County Police have stepped up patrols in several areas of the county, to battle these burglars.

 But they say they are some things you can do to safeguard your home while you are out of town.   Set some lights and radios on timers around your house, to come on and off at various times.

Don't let newspapers and mail pile up around your mailbox. Let a trusted neighbor pick them up, or cut off the service until your return.

 Notify police that you are going to be out of town, so they can check the home during patrols.

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