ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Inside the house is destroyed. Holes in the walls, ceiling, floors, where all the wiring and plumbing has been stolen. This is the crime problem in Dougherty County. DCP Chief Don Cheek said, "With the economy the way it is, in particular the illicit market for illicit scrap metal."
While these thefts make them angry, Dougherty County Police are glad to report through the first six months of the year there has been almost no violent crime. There were six aggravated assaults, the majority domestic disputes. There was one armed robbery in July.
Cheek said "We feel very comfortable saying the the unincorporated area of the county is a very safe place to live."
Property crime has increased in 2008, almost all copper thefts. Based on the crime rate so far this year, burglary would increase from 158 incidents to a projected 184. Larceny crimes would increase from 276 last year to a projected 311 in 2008.
Even with those projections Chief Cheek says the crime rate in Dougherty County overall will still be down from last year. Cheek said "At the end of the year, I still anticipate our crime rate will be well, well lower than state, regional, and the area. It will be significantly lower."
Police Chief Don Cheek gives credit to the community for helping keep their crime rate down. He says people in Dougherty County keep a sharp eye and report suspicious activity to his Officers, who follow up.
Last week Dougherty County Police arrested Eric Bernard Freeman for burglary and criminal damage. He had a large amount of copper wire and tools when they arrested him.