June 23, 2014
Valdosta, GA - A string of burglaries in South Georgia has some local residents feeling uneasy. It has police ramping up patrols in Valdosta.
With five burglaries reported over the weekend, Residents living in Valdosta want to know when and how the problem got so bad.
"It's kind of scary that both neighbors on both sides of us have been broke in to and not our house. When it very well possibly could have been our house", says Logan Smith.
Police Chief Brian Childress says VPD has been ramping up their efforts by adding a burglary unit, putting more officers on the road, and encouraging officers to do more patrols when they aren't on a call.
"You can judge us on 'Is crime going down in Valdosta', and the answer to that is yes. I can prove that with data. That's real data. 'Are we clearing cases better than the rest of the country', and the answer to that is yes. We track it every single month, and we send the data over to the City Manager for his review", he says.
This year, VPD also installed a new system for mapping where burglaries are happening in the city. Childress says they are creating new strategies based on it's information, but one piece of the puzzle is still missing.
"We can't be everywhere, we need the public to stop being afraid to call 911. We need you to be the eyes and ears for us."
Smith says a neighbor gave a description of who may have broken into the house next door. She says getting to know your neighbors is important. You'll feel much safer knowing someone is looking out for you.
Childress also says if you see something, you don't have to give your name or number. You can leave an anonymous tip with 911. He says something as simple as that can help solve crimes.
Valdosta, GA - Five burglaries over the weekend in Valdosta has the police department reminding residents how to protect themselves.
"Making sure the bushes are trimmed properly, having doors and windows locked at all times, and when you're not at home, keep your window shades closed down", says Vernotis Williams, Crime Prevention Officer at The Valdosta Police Department.
VPD also offers Residential Security Inspections for free to all residents. We tagged along for an inspection to see what potential burglars are looking for.
Officer Williams says that keyed locks one on your gate, are great for detering criminals. He says even pulling a trash can right in front of the lock, may be just what you need for neighbors to catch on to the fact that someone is trying to get into your home.
Resident Shandra Seim calls the inspections an eye-opener. "I'm going to try to be more vigilant on making sure I take care of things from now on."
Some other tips from VPD, never post your plans on social media, because burglars might be watching. It's also a good idea to have the locks changed every time you move. Finally, keep track of serial numbers on your electronics. That way, if they're stolen, there's a greater chance of you getting them back.
You can also have a Crime Prevention Officer come out to your home.
Just call 229- 292- 7785, or stop by the Valdosta Police Department.