Albany crime rate headed down - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany crime rate headed down

Al Pusey is Sherwood area's neighborhood watch co-chairman Al Pusey is Sherwood area's neighborhood watch co-chairman

According to Albany Police statistics, Albany crime is down 14%, but thieves may still be targeting your personal belongings.

While violent crimes fell, property crimes are up.

Police attribute the numbers being down to more cruisers out in the neighborhoods, but putting police on the streets only goes so far; police say residents also have to make an effort not to become a victim. 

Al Pusey spends most of his time on his porch and whether its with his grandson or alone, as Sherwood area's neighborhood watch co-chairman, he's watching.

"We do keep a pretty close watch, there are several of us that make note of the strange cars, strange individuals in the neighborhood," he said.

He's not afraid if he notices something suspicious to call police and he's noticed a change.

"The Albany Police Department has been outstanding in their coverage of the area, especially in the last 6 months."

We learned it's likely a result of increase patrols to get a handle on Albany's crime issue. While overall crime is down 14%, property crimes continue to increase.

"We're seeing larceny crimes increase, we're seeing burglary crimes increase and we're seeing out auto theft crimes increase," said Albany Police Media Manager Phyllis Banks.

But sometimes there's no one to blame but yourself.  "We still have reports that come in where people are leaving their windows down with property in plain view that's a no, no at this time."

Police say windows need to be up even in this heat and cars locked, and don't leave anything behind.

"Don't leave valuables like GPS's, Ipods, gaming systems, you know we have people who leave gaming systems in their cars, handguns and purses, women are still leaving their purses in full view in their car," said Banks.

Police say it's a different time than it was five years ago, everything should be locked, in an effort to keep the crime stats falling across the board.

Sherwood's Neighborhood watch co-chairman told us he's even working with several store in Albany to get a discounted security system for a lot of the homes in their neighborhood in an effort to protect neighbors.

So far this year a majority of Albany's property crimes occurred in west and central Albany. East Albany had the lowest property crimes. Violent crimes were down 5% as of the end of April from last year.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.   

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