Burglaries on the rise in Valdosta - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Burglaries on the rise in Valdosta

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Property crimes are rising in Valdosta.

Through August of this year, Valdosta Police investigated 597 burglaries alone.

That's 111 more than last year during that time period.

It's frustrating for homeowners and business owners.

Dale O'Connor repairs a door where thieves broke in over the weekend. They got away with hundreds of dollars in furniture and computers this weekend.

"It's hard enough during the economic times to make ends meet," said O'Connor. "You pay your bills and then you have someone that breaks in your place and then disrupts your business."

O'Connor says his business Diamond Realty has never been burglarized before .

"We don't keep any money in the office at all so we never have any money here so I don't know why anyone would want to break into it," said O'Connor.

Through the first eight months of this year, burglaries in Valdosta jumped 23 percent over last year.

"Like most places across the nation because of the economy, we've seen an increase in some of the crimes specifically burglaries," said Valdosta Police Lt. Aaron Kirk.

Police say over the last few months they've seen a decrease in July there were 81 burglaries and August they had 53.

"We believe it's due to the efforts of the police departments, doing burglary patrols and extra patrols during the day" said Lt. Kirk. "Also our investigative unit has done a really good job in investigating and passing their infomration along to patrol divisions as far as where the crimes are occuring, suspect information, types of burglaries, and things that really help combat it."

July they had a clearance rate of nearly 22 percent, much better than the national average.

"The national average on burglaries according to the FBI is 12.5 percent," said Lt. Kirk.

As police continue to fight crime, Dale O'Connor hopes someone will identify his three chairs and catch those crooks.

Police say they also depend on the community for tips to help them solve burglaries.

If you have information on the Diamond Realty break-in or any other crime, police want you to contact them.


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