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Residents requesting more home security checks

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More residents in Columbia County are trying out house watches before leaving for vacation than in years past.

This year, the county has completed 65,913 checks – up more than 8,000 from 2010.

“There are more homes and it’s just more popular,” said Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.

The free year-round service started in the county 15 years ago and was designed to give homeowners more peace of mind while on vacation. Morris said Christmas and summertime are always higher, but numbers increase almost every year.

The service is also offered by Richmond and Aiken counties, and North Augusta.

All officers do a physical check of the grounds during night and daytime hours and report back if there’s a problem.

The officers receive a description of the property they’ll be visiting and know what lights were left on, what vehicles were in the driveway, pet information and if anyone else has permission to be on the property.

“We get out of the cars and walk around to make sure everything looks and appears to be normal,” said North Augusta Public Safety Sgt. Tim Thornton.

North Augusta officers don’t see a large increase during the winter holidays, but Thornton said it remains a popular service.

REQUEST A HOUSE CHECK

• Richmond County Sheriff’s Office: (706) 821-1080

• Columbia County Sheriff’s Office: (706) 541-2800

• Aiken County Sheriff’s Office: (803) 648-6811

• North Augusta Public Safety: (803) 279-2121

Comments (15) Add comment
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RogerDavis
11
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RogerDavis 12/23/11 - 12:59 am
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Good luck with that one. The

Good luck with that one. The ONLY time I requested that service, my truck was broken into and over 3,000 bucks worth of tools were stolen. Coincidence? Could be. But I haven't asked for that "service" again. And I haven't been broken into since.
Maybe Columbia County runs a tighter ship than Richmond County. One can only hope.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 12/22/11 - 10:49 pm
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Clay does, Roger.

Clay does, Roger.

augusta citizen
8968
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augusta citizen 12/22/11 - 10:56 pm
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I prefer to let a few (very

I prefer to let a few (very few) trusted friends know when I go out of town. I prefer "don't ask, don't tell", did I really just say that??? LOL

Riverman1
81365
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Riverman1 12/22/11 - 11:20 pm
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Roger, funny in a dark way.

Roger, funny in a dark way.

Just My Opinion
5429
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Just My Opinion 12/23/11 - 05:46 am
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Well, Roger, do you think it

Well, Roger, do you think it had anything to do with you keeping $3000 worth of tools in your truck overnight and over an extended period of time? Coincidence?? Give the cops a break. I've used this service a few times in the past (now, it was Columbia County), and it left us with a great feeling of comfort, knowing that our home was being checked up on. No, it's not foolproof, but it's better than nothing. Oh, and we usually do tell our neighbors...but I'm thankful we have neighbors we can trust.

seenitB4
84100
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seenitB4 12/23/11 - 07:36 am
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Good neighbors are the best

Good neighbors are the best bet------big dogs are great too....motion lights help.......& having a 38 handy if you are at home.

Riverman1
81365
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Riverman1 12/23/11 - 07:38 am
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There is as much difference

There is as much difference in the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Richmond County's as there is the American Army and the Somalian Army.

Riverman1
81365
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Riverman1 12/23/11 - 08:14 am
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If you pay for "specials" in

If you pay for "specials" in Richmond County where, not only the officer gets some extra, but the supervisor, too, you will be much safer. If you want to decrease crime in your area or around your business, pay up. Pay for protection and all that like in the Godfather.

JRC2024
8271
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JRC2024 12/23/11 - 10:09 am
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All my experiences with

All my experiences with Richmond County Law have been good. You cannot expect miracles and with the diversity of this county in income and the morals of some of its citizens. When they start moving to Columbia County you will see a change for the worst.

Jake
32145
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Jake 12/23/11 - 11:47 am
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I had to read the first

I had to read the first sentence twice before I got what it was really saying. I was wondering what "out house watches" were since I know that there are not any out houses in use in Columbia County anymore.

charliemanson
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charliemanson 12/23/11 - 02:01 pm
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Well, with cuts to the

Well, with cuts to the Richmond County's Sheriff budget, I don't think the deputies got the time or patience to want to walk around someone's residence.

charliemanson
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charliemanson 12/23/11 - 02:02 pm
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.

.

RogerDavis
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RogerDavis 12/23/11 - 04:54 pm
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Just my opinion. I kept those

Just my opinion. I kept those very same tools in my locked truck for over a year before this happened. We were gone for 3 days. I understand cops can't be everywhere and granted I don't live in the best of neighborhoods. My point was that it seemed a little too convenient.Since then I no longer keep ANYTHING of value in my truck and I trust neighbors to watch my house.

Just My Opinion
5429
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Just My Opinion 12/23/11 - 07:03 pm
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Roger, I get what you're

Roger, I get what you're saying. I also get that, in ANY neighborhood, if you have someone so inclined, they could easily see the police checking out your house, realize that the homeowner is gone, and then drop by as soon as the police leave. Bottom line is that it can happen anywhere and at any time. I agree that the best protection, besides an alarm, is to have old and/or very nosey neighbors! They'll keep an eye on anything and everything that goes on around them.

RogerDavis
11
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RogerDavis 12/23/11 - 09:40 pm
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Right on! Sometimes we should

Right on! Sometimes we should be grateful for nosy neighbors...

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