Albany burglary rate on the decline; Did signs help? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany burglary rate on the decline; Did signs help?

Corporal Brian Covington, with APD's Crime Prevention Unit Corporal Brian Covington, with APD's Crime Prevention Unit
Cathy Taliaferro of Albany Drive-Thru Pawn Cathy Taliaferro of Albany Drive-Thru Pawn
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Twenty-five fewer burglaries have been committed so far this year, a 15% decrease over last year.    The "Open and Empty" sign has a huge part in the success to beat this crime.

Police rode down Slappey Blvd. last August and passed out the "Open and Empty" signs for businesses to post on their windows, and just one year later, they look to be successful.

Smash and grabs are less frequent in Albany, and police are excited. "When we have our numbers going down, we're very, very pleased with those results," said Corporal Brian Covington, with the Albany Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit.

A hundred sixty three break-ins had occurred by this time last year. So far this year, that number is down to 139. Businesses not only put those signs on their windows or drive thrus, but they also pull out the cash drawer.

"So if someone's peaking inside that window, they can absolutely see that that drawer is also open and empty," said Corporal Covington.

For business owners like Cathy Taliaferro of Albany Drive-Thru Pawn, who have had their places burglarized, this help is welcome. "We always appreciate everything that the Albany Police Department does for us," said Taliaferro.

Corporal Covington says increased patrols by officers have also helped in the crime fighting, and moving forward, things won't change. 
"We're going to maintain a proactive approach. We're going to ride our businesses. We're going to maintain that constant communication with the business owners and with the store employees," said Covington.

"You always see their presence around. We actually see them around a lot more than we used to," said Taliaferro.

It's a sight many businesses around town are happy to see as police continue to fight crime.

Corporal Covington also stressed the importance of citizen involvement in this process. If you see something out of the ordinary in your neighborhood or around businesses, don't hesitate to call 911.

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