APD has central team for burglaries - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

APD has central team for burglaries

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

August 11, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police report that crime is up in 2008, but they say specialized investigating is helping in some areas.

Summer is usually a hot time for burglars, but APD's burglary unit reports success in the last two months.

Police say the number of burglaries in June and July were reduced 17% and the new burglary unit is one reason why.

This summer the Albany Police Burglary Unit spotted a trend in the burglaries of homes in South Albany, on University Street, Duke Lane, and Jones Avenue.

"An individual was going around in numerous residences. When we started seeing that spike of crimes in that area, that was our focus then," said Burglary unit Coordinator Lt. John Prickett.

Friday, the Burglary Unit arrested 23-year-old Antwane Graham, charging him with six burglaries in South Albany, and they say he may be charged with more break ins. The Burglary unit recognized that one person was doing all these break ins, by the similarities of the crimes.

"What's being taken, how entry is being made, what time of day it's being done," Prickett said.

Every burglary in Albany is handled by the Burglary Unit, comparing where, when, and how they are happening, mapping out and filing on computer each crime. They say having information on all burglaries helps them spot the criminal's pattern.

They also keep a close eye on possible stolen goods being sold around Albany, like at pawn shops. This summer The Burglary unit reports the biggest burglary problems are not businesses, but homes.

"Residential break ins, stealing TV's, Play station, X-Box, those type of materials," Pricket said.

Albany Police formed the Burglary Unit a year ago. Even though the number of burglaries in Albany overall is up in 2008, in June and July they are down compared to last year. And the Burglary Unit hopes their specializing on this one crime will to continue to lower the burglary rate in the future.

APD's burglary unit is making more arrests in burglary cases, making arrests in 13% of the burglaries in Albany. The National Average for law enforcement clearing burglaries is only 12%.

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