Columbia County sees string of break-ins

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 11:34 AM
Last updated Friday, May 28, 2010 11:11 PM
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Two Columbia County neighborhoods were the newest locations of a recent increase in car break-ins, according to police.
"It really started the week before Masters," Columbia County Sheriff's Investigator Nash Garrett said.
Since then, the sheriff's office responded to 17 car break-ins in West Lake alone, including seven late Sunday and early Monday, Garrett said.
Waterford subdivision, off Gibbs and Hereford Farm roads in Evans, was the most recent area of activity. Six residents reported break-ins late Monday to early Tuesday, according to Columbia County Sheriff's Office incident reports.
"You just can't leave anything in your car," Garrett said, adding that he believes a bad economy and high unemployment rates contribute to the increase. "Desperate times call for desperate measures and they are desperate."
Garrett said thieves also targeted vehicles off William Few Parkway last week.
Police do not believe the break-ins are done by one person or group, but several different groups. Some are targeting unlocked vehicles, while others are shattering windows to get inside the vehicles, Garrett said.
The thieves are stealing purses, wallets, and any kind of electronics, including laptop computers, cell phones, GPS units and cameras.
"If you value your treasures, don't leave them in your car," Garrett said, adding that the sheriff's office promotes the Lock It or Lose It campaign. The program promotes locking vehicles and not leaving valuables inside.
Even if the items are hidden under a seat or otherwise not visible, they are still at risk
"What we need the people to do is do not leave anything in their car," Garrett said.

Reach Valerie Rowell at (706) 868-1222, ext. 110, or
valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (22) Add comment
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Just tired
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Just tired 05/05/10 - 11:51 am
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Lock It or Lose It. Haw about

Lock It or Lose It. Haw about locking up the perps and losing the key.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 05/05/10 - 12:13 pm
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This has definitely been on

This has definitely been on the increase in all of Columbia County - oddly enough we spoke to our teenager just 2 days ago about this very thing. Leave NOTHING in your car, even in your garage or driveway or if it's locked.

This is happening in Richmond County too. I know someone who went to the canal and when she got back to her car, her window was broken and everything in it was stolen.

pommom38
1496
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pommom38 05/05/10 - 12:25 pm
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Yes, lock up and don't keep

Yes, lock up and don't keep valuables inside. Thought that was plain common sense. But at the same time, sorry, locking doors is going to do nothing to deter these crimes from happening. They're desperate enough to break in with the cars in the driveway, they won't think twice about smashing your window in.
And finally, someone states the obvious! Been saying it, bad economy has the crimes skyrocketing..

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 05/05/10 - 12:47 pm
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My window of my car is worth

My window of my car is worth much more than anything in it. I keep it empty and unlocked.

corgimom
32266
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corgimom 05/05/10 - 12:50 pm
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"Desperate times call for

"Desperate times call for desperate measures and they are desperate."

Countyman, please give us your thoughts, because according to you, things are great in the CSRA and it is thriving.

Sargebaby
4693
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Sargebaby 05/05/10 - 12:55 pm
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Same here, Taylor B, but

Same here, Taylor B, but here's the clinch; to get anything, "they" would have to enter my garage. If they do that, guess what? "They" will regret it for the rest of what lives "they" have left. A .38 Special caliber hollow point is a permanent memory maker. That is, if they survive!

Chillen
17
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Chillen 05/05/10 - 01:23 pm
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You go Sarge! If they enter

You go Sarge! If they enter our house or garage they'll meet the same surprise here.

Honestly, I think that there are groups of people who "use" bad economic news to increase their unlawful or unscrupulous behavior.

I think that crime is on the increase because these folks are "justifying" it due to the bad economy. It can't be due to their own evil tendency. After all, Mommy Government is paying for their food, welfare, healthcare and unemployment. It can't be that bad.

I need to get a few stickers for my windows saying this house protected by firearm or something to that effect. I'd rather that they just avoid my house & property.

whyme
1799
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whyme 05/05/10 - 01:26 pm
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I agree-common sense should

I agree-common sense should never go out of style. It is never ok to be robbed-get a real job, people!-but it is also never ok to be that naive. I know a lot of people that leave valuables in their vehicles, leave their homes unlocked, their windows open,etc. then SURPRISE! their stuff walks. You don't ask to be robbed anymore than a woman walking late at night alone asks to be attacked but criminals don't think like the rest of us, so we have to try to be prepared.

Ashley101
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Ashley101 05/05/10 - 01:47 pm
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The one of the victim was a

The one of the victim was a very good friend of mines. Yes it's possible for someone to have 100k worth of items in their vehicle. Perhaps there were coming home from work?! Not everyone lives the same lifestyles. Most people that lived in Westlake are very rich. It ranges from clothes factory owner to high income business owners. Someone doesn’t have to be celebrity to have money. People don't normally suspect you would have crime, where you’re in a gate community with 24 hour security team. Westlake isn’t doing their job, they don’t want this accident to become public, and house value might just drop.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 05/05/10 - 02:11 pm
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I don't have a garage, but I

I don't have a garage, but I have a 40 cal and a pack of highly trained attack cats. My meowcenaries!

AutumnLeaves
7667
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AutumnLeaves 05/05/10 - 02:39 pm
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Taylor B, if you're going to

Taylor B, if you're going to leave it unlocked, you can't leave anything in it with personal information that could lead to identity theft, either, i.e., any paperwork with S.S.#, Driver's License #, family names, birthdays, the usual... Also, leaving your vehicle unlocked allows somebody to put something, even someone, INTO your car undetected, something or someone you might not want to be in there, I'll let you use your imagination on that one. I'd rather have a broken window than to be found with someone else's discarded contraband or somebody coming up from the floor of the backseat as I try to enter it. I don't need that kind of excitement and I don't want to have to kill somebody just because I left the car unlocked for some opportunistic criminal.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 05/05/10 - 03:12 pm
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Backseat? I drive a vette

Backseat? I drive a vette baby!

seenitB4
87097
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seenitB4 05/05/10 - 05:57 pm
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The breakins are happening in

The breakins are happening in Gwinnett Cty. too...we started the neighborhood watch program because of it...all of the neighbors have #s to call if someone suspicious comes around the houses..plus we are paying extra for police to patrol day & night at different intervals..we are all on email list so we email anything out of the norm to all...it helps.The police did say having dogs in yard was a good deterrent.

cristinadh
6
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cristinadh 05/05/10 - 08:07 pm
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"they" will meet the same

"they" will meet the same fate if they come to my house.. and I have no mercy!!

WestlakeResident
0
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WestlakeResident 05/05/10 - 10:35 pm
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Westlake Security is REALLY

Westlake Security is REALLY doing a GREAT job. I’ve been a Westlake resident for 8 years, and they give my 90 year old parents a hard time coming through the gate, as well as myself if I happen to be in a different vehicle. They are known to quickly let drifting riff raft through the gate , making long term residents wait unnecessarily when they are acquainted with them. Apparently their diligence does not extend to helping residents avoid having their vehicles broken into in their own driveways. This is a serious matter that has been ongoing for several months in our neighborhood. What is it going to take to have the homeowners association step up security measures, someone being killed? Residents pay exorbitant association fees to live in an exclusive enclave and yet we are as exposed as any middle income subdivision. Our security gate is staffed with elderly, unprofessional personnel that need to be removed.

KSL
129307
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KSL 05/05/10 - 10:43 pm
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Is West Lake a gated

Is West Lake a gated community with so called limited access? In Aiken we have Woodside Plantation. Have not heard of anything like what is going on in West Lake. Inside jobs, perhaps?

KSL
129307
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KSL 05/05/10 - 10:48 pm
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I don't live in a gated

I don't live in a gated community, thankfully. We are fortunate to have watchful neighbors, always have, plus we are self-employed and often work out of our homes. And we have guns.

Sargebaby
4693
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Sargebaby 05/05/10 - 11:02 pm
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KSL, the article stated they

KSL, the article stated they were operating in Waterford subdivision. That's next door to us, and we've had on break-in in ours, just three weeks ago. There is someone here 24/7 and we are armed and watching! They don't want to mess with my hollow points!

Sargebaby
4693
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Sargebaby 05/05/10 - 11:03 pm
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Good night all! Stay safe!

Good night all! Stay safe!

Mudfish
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Mudfish 05/06/10 - 12:13 am
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Unfortunately, if you shoot

Unfortunately, if you shoot someone in your yard or garage you can go to jail. I disagree with it but they have to be inside your living quarters. If nothing else, you should be able to tan their hide with a good shot of rock salt and bacon rine. They would still want to prosecute you if you do that. The honest person trying to protect their property cannot win.

RAWR
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RAWR 05/06/10 - 01:54 am
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Mudfish I have no idea what

Mudfish I have no idea what you are talking about. Georgia is a stand your ground state. There is no duty to retreat.

natalie123
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natalie123 05/06/10 - 09:50 am
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I live in Winslow subdivision

I live in Winslow subdivision wish is next to Waterford subdivision and my husband and I both had our cars broken into last week. The police that came said that we were not the first on that street to have that happen that it happened to a few other people on our street the week before.

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