Crooks still target storm-affected neighborhoods - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Crooks still target storm-affected neighborhoods

Police said thieves are still targeting storm affected areas. (Source: WALB) Police said thieves are still targeting storm affected areas. (Source: WALB)
Debra Buchanan (Source: WALB) Debra Buchanan (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County Police have responded to multiple reports of suspicious activity in the Holly Drive and Radium Springs areas (Source: WALB) Dougherty County Police have responded to multiple reports of suspicious activity in the Holly Drive and Radium Springs areas (Source: WALB)
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Neighbors are on edge in Dougherty County.

Homeowners said thieves are still trying to break in and steal their belongings, even six months after January's tornadoes wreaked havoc on our area. 

They all said it's sickening to think thieves are out there, waiting for a chance to take advantage of storm victims.

Abandoned homes are a common site as you drive along the Holly Drive and Radium Springs area. 

"The home was totaled, with the tree falling on it.  The fence was totaled," said homeowner Debra Buchanan. 

The damage left behind by the January 22nd tornado is still hard for Buchanan to swallow. 

"I had to just start over," she said.  

But on top of the cleanup and rebuilding, Buchanan said homeowners still have to worry about thieves. 

"It just piles up.  It's very nerve-racking.  You just can't seem to get back into your normal state of mind," she said. 

Buchanan said some of her neighbors have been victims of burglaries recently. 

"They're coming in and just stealing four wheelers, and anything that they think they can get money for, they're taking," said Buchanan. 

Dougherty County Police said they continue to receive multiple calls of suspicious activity in these storm-affected areas.

"The cars coming through the neighborhood, different cars that have not been here before, driving really slow," she described.  "And a couple of nights ago, I was sitting on the steps here, and somebody comes walking from behind my house."

Buchanan said she's already taken the steps to secure her newly built home. She added locks and lighting to her home.

She said she's more aware of the importance of looking out for her neighbors, to prevent others from becoming victims. 

"It's horrible," said Buchanan. "People are just trying to take advantage of everybody. Just trying to take what they can and get what they can.  Trying to sell people's stuff.  It's like they don't care."

Dougherty County Police urge homeowners to be that nosy neighbor, and watch for anything suspicious. 

That includes people or cars you've never seen before in the area. 

By reporting that suspicious activity, you can ultimately prevent more serious crimes from happening.

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