Arson detectives put their heads together - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Arson detectives put their heads together

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Moultrie Fire Department Investigator Justin Cox Moultrie Fire Department Investigator Justin Cox
Risk Management Expert Sam Shugart Risk Management Expert Sam Shugart
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Southwest Georgia arson investigators are networking information, as they investigate a number of serious arson fires recently. Agents say convicting arsonists will keep your insurance rates from rising.

The Association of Arson Investigators say criminals often network information when they commit an arson, and Investigators work together to keep up.

In just the last month in Albany at least two cars have been torched in the same area of East Albany.

In Moultrie fire investigators are looking into several car arson cases as well. Investigators from across Southwest Georgia got together to check trends.

"We network with other departments, other investigators. To find out if they have something going on similar to what we've had," said Moultrie Fire Department Investigator Justin Cox.

Investigators say criminals travel and share information with others. Even arsonists. Investigators say they have even seen the crooks brag on social media.

"You can just look at Facebook. People on Facebook post articles about what they did in their community, and how they achieved something," Albany Fire Department Investigators Sam Harris said.

Insurance agents say if companies have to pay off false claims, it actually ends up costing you.

"They cost shift that claim cost back to the policy holders. So your premium goes up every time they pay a claim that they shouldn't have to," Risk Management Expert Sam Shugart said.

And arson is a dangerous crime. One month ago a man died in the arson of an East Albany apartment.

Cox said, "Arson can very easily cause great bodily injury, or death to individuals. Involved in the setting of the fire or the victims of the fire."

So arson investigators are working together to keep up with trends across Georgia, to prevent set fires or arrest arsonists.

The Arson Investigators Association of Southwest Georgia meets quarterly, and works with the state Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, tracking arson trends.

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