Residents want action after two suspicious fires on their street - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Residents want action after two suspicious fires on their street

Michelle Jamieson Michelle Jamieson
George Tharp pointed out his neighbors fence, which backs up to the alleyway and which has been damaged by people jumping over it George Tharp pointed out his neighbors fence, which backs up to the alleyway and which has been damaged by people jumping over it
Charles Johnson Charles Johnson
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

The bush in front of Michelle Jamieson's home on Banks Circle was still smoking Friday morning, more than 12 hours after it was set on fire.

"I was just watching TV. My neighbor came over, said 'hey, where's your hose? You've got a bush on fire in your front yard,'" Jamieson recalled.

Neighbors saw teens running from the bush and that's when they also noticed the fire. But it's not the first suspicious fire on the street.

A second suspicious fire broke out in the alleyway on Banks Circle on Sunday. Residents said that fire, along with the fire Thursday night and all of the suspicious activity that they see going on in the alleyway has got to stop and they want the city to do something about it.

Neighbor George Tharp said teens often bring bicycles back into the alleyway where they know they won't be seen and disassemble them for the parts and then cut through the yards to get away.

You can see this area right here is where they have broken this man's fence down to take the shortcut through his yard," Tharp explained as he walked through the alleyway. "This [house] here, he just put a fence up about six months ago and it had to be extra tall to keep 'em from comin' through his yard."

Tharp wants the city to put up a fence or barrier around the length of the alleyway to prevent teens from using it for criminal activity. He said he's seen drug activity in the alleyway in the past.

Neighbor Charles Johnson agrees. "We are very concerned about this and everything," Johnson emphasized. "It's a growing problem and something needs to be done about it."

The fire department is looking into both fires.

George Tharp said the police do patrol the area frequently, and he has spoken to the city manager about getting a fence put up. But, he said something needs to happen soon, because the suspicious activity in the area continues to grow and residents on the street are starting to feel unsafe.

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