Crime & Courts

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Richmond Hill area tops county crime reports over past year

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The Richmond Hill emergency response area – bordered by Deans Bridge Road on the west, Gordon Highway on the north, Peach Orchard Road on the east and Bobby Jones Expressway on the south – had the highest number of reported crimes tracked by The Augusta Chronicle in the past year.

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Earl Driggers, the owner of AA Pawn on Peach Orchard Road, uses cameras, alarms and "the baddest dog I could find" to deter crime. He says break-ins have decreased in the two years since he got his dog, Jazzmine.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Earl Driggers, the owner of AA Pawn on Peach Orchard Road, uses cameras, alarms and "the baddest dog I could find" to deter crime. He says break-ins have decreased in the two years since he got his dog, Jazzmine.

MAPS AND DATABASES

Study maps and search databases of incidents reported to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office:

Residents and businesses in Rich­mond Hill reported 573 incidents: assaults, burglaries, drugs, property damage, robberies, reckless conduct, terroristic threats, arson, kidnapping and one homicide.

Most of the incidents reported between Dec. 1, 2011, and Dec. 1 – 329 – were for simple battery. Burglaries accounted for 123 of the reports; robberies accounted for 28.

Earl Driggers, who owns AA Pawn on Peach Orchard Road and A-1 Jewelry and Pawn on Deans Bridge Road, said crime is a problem.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been broken into,” he said.

When Driggers opened AA Pawn about four years ago, attempted break-ins were constant, he said. Twice someone attempted to drive through the front door, most recently on Jan. 29. Luckily, nothing has been stolen. Typically, he said, his alarms send them running.

Driggers later added a dog to his crime-prevention strategy, which he said has greatly curtailed break-ins.

“I went and bought me the baddest dog I could find,” he said of the Rottweiler that patrols the back of the building when he’s gone.

He said the break-in attempts are a headache and costly but that he cares too much about the community and the area to give up without a fight.

“The south side has been very beneficial to me, and I’m not about to abandon them,” Driggers said.

Patrick Barnwell, the owner of Pa­trick’s Custom Cycle Exchange on Deans Bridge Road, said proprietors must tightly secure their businesses.

“You can’t make it easy on them,” he said of possible burglars.

Barnwell said he uses cameras, alarms and signs to deter crime at the business he has owned for 10 years. His business was hit in September, but he said it was the work of amateurs and a rare thing for him to see. The suspects caused several hundred dollars
in damage to the store trying to get in, but nothing was taken.

“Knock on wood, I’ve only gotten one hit in 10 years,” Barnwell said.

Richmond County sheriff’s Deputy Paul Kervin, who works one of several beats in the Richmond Hill emergency response area, said a few bad apples have given the area a bad name.

“South Augusta has a base of good people who live there and are upstanding citizens,” Kervin said. “Then you have other people who live there and don’t work and will do anything for an extra dollar.”

Of the county’s 30 homicides this year, one occurred within the Richmond Hill area. Police say Keya Mitchell, 34, was shot by her husband, Harvey Mitchell, 31, during a domestic dispute at their apartment in the 500 block of Richmond Hill Road.

Apartments in that block accounted for 73 reported incidents. Providence Place apartments in the 2500 block of Richmond Hill Road accounted for 39. The two complexes accounted for a quarter of all crimes in the Richmond Hill emergency response area in the period analyzed.

Capt. Scott Peebles said high concentrations of residents, especially at apartment complexes, have more problems.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that (the area) has a high call volume,” he said. “It’s very heavily populated.”

Peebles said the Rich­mond Hill response area encompasses a large portion of the economic center of south Augusta.

Because of the high call volume, Kervin said he often has to neglect some of his other duties to respond to calls on his beat, which falls between Peach Orchard Road, Gordon Highway and Deans Bridge Road.

A good amount of time is spent at the complexes. When he’s not answering calls, he’s there to be a deterrent.

“Most people welcome us with open arms,” Kervin said.

Driggers said he encourages people to keep believing in the area.

“Sooner or later the positives will outweigh the negatives,” he said.

IN RICHMOND HILL

A look at the incidents reported to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in the Richmond Hill emergency response area from Dec. 1, 2011, to Dec. 1, 2012:

Assaults342
Burglaries123
Cases of property damage31
Robberies28
Drug cases24
Terroristic threats9
Reckless conduct11
Arsons2
Kidnappings2
Homicide1
PROBLEM AREAS

A look at the top five emergency response areas with the most incidents reported to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office from Dec. 1, 2011, to Dec. 1, 2012:

Richmond Hill573
Barton Chapel440
Housing Authority433
Wheeless Road420
Old Savannah415

Note: Some reports from the sheriff’s office might have been categorized in the wrong emergency response area.

Comments (23) Add comment
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itsanotherday1
42296
Points
itsanotherday1 12/15/12 - 06:56 pm
11
1
Richmond Hill

The same element that closed Regency Mall. I fear they are like a colony of fireants; reproducing in massive numbers and almost impossible to eliminate.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 12/15/12 - 07:08 pm
3
0
Rehash of the

same story the AC posted months ago.
I remember because it was the 1st time a comment of mine was flagged and held for review.

Richmond Hill
Barton Chapel
Housing Authority

However, some if memory serves me?
All made the list before, but I think H.A. was higher before?
An there has been some improvements in the area numbers?

JggrNAUT
223
Points
JggrNAUT 12/16/12 - 08:18 am
0
6
"They" ?

Who do you mean by "they"? I'm new to the area and don't know what you mean.....

seenitB4
85836
Points
seenitB4 12/16/12 - 08:30 am
9
0
"THEY"

Useless punks of ANY color---I know what you meant & too bad you want to make a debate on race here..

seenitB4
85836
Points
seenitB4 12/16/12 - 08:36 am
5
1
THINK about this

The same story day after day......danger for these folks ALL the time,..some have used every measure in the book to prevent it BUT still trouble ....alarms---cameras--dogs....GEEX GEEZ---& some wonder why good folks leave...
Keep the fricking dollars in SOUTH
AUGUSTA why doncha....try to clean up this stinking crime area....
This will be the collapse of an entire area.......just like Regency Mall.....& downtown keeps begging for more $$$$...

Put the ballpark in N Augusta & another airport too.....it didn't have to happen this way.......just like the Regency didn't have to go under...

seenitB4
85836
Points
seenitB4 12/16/12 - 08:41 am
6
0
DUH DUH

bordered by Deans Bridge Road on the west, Gordon Highway on the north, Peach Orchard Road on the east and Bobby Jones Expressway on the south – had the highest number of reported crimes tracked by The Augusta Chronicle in the past year.

That tells me they know where the trouble spots are but are saying---duh duh we can't do anything about it-----we don't know what to do---duh duh....take your finger outta ya body parts & put it on that trigger...

seenitB4
85836
Points
seenitB4 12/16/12 - 08:47 am
5
0
countymans words are....

Augusta is becoming a happening place. No doubt about it!!!

Yep,,,just ask a business owner in this area of the county....their happening is a little different from yours though...

CobaltGeorge
155742
Points
CobaltGeorge 12/16/12 - 10:54 am
5
0
JggrNAUT's Question

Who do you mean by "they"?

Lets see if answerable by using PC questions.

Those that have had the opportunity to use Regency Mall....

How many groups of Whites can you remember Push you out of the way as they Be-popped through the allies?

How many Whites did you hear using real foil language all the time as you quietly did your shopping?

How many White parking lot law breaking incidence did you incounter every time you went there?

How many White Butt grabing incounters did you have to chance to feel?

More, but it would fall out of line of AC policy.

Maybe that may help you out JggrNAUT as to who was "They".

JRC2024
8607
Points
JRC2024 12/16/12 - 10:59 am
7
0
"Then you have other people

"Then you have other people who live there and don’t work and will do anything for an extra dollar.”

JggrNAUT, This is who THEY are. They are the people who run down any area where they move . They do drugs, party all the time, disrespect everything and everybody. They are the lowest of society whom ever they may be and wherever they live. They are the people decent people do not want to be around.

countyman
19754
Points
countyman 12/16/12 - 11:21 am
1
8
Seenitb4. Go ask the

Seenitb4. Go ask the businesses in the area near Bradleyville rd of North Augusta? I know you guys love to focus on South Augusta, but North Augusta has bad areas too. I dare you to even walk down Bradleyville rd at night by yourself.

Please go ask any sane person about the idea of putting an airport in North Augusta? They would laugh at the idea from the very beginning. This magical airport located between the airports in South Augusta and West Columbia. The airport in North Augusta wouldn't even have more traffic than the current one in Aiken.

And, since it's so easy for counties to clean up entire areas. Why can't Gwinnett(a suburb) clean up Jimmy Carter Boulevard or the Gwinnett Place mall area? I hear all the time from Atlanta residents how Gwinnett is turning into Fulton County. Where you have multiple good, okay, and bad places similar to urban areas.

Gage Creed
16818
Points
Gage Creed 12/16/12 - 11:34 am
5
0
Countyman sounds like you may

Countyman sounds like you may have spent some time on Carolina Springs Road... will you walk down East Boundry alone at night?

itsanotherday1
42296
Points
itsanotherday1 12/16/12 - 12:13 pm
8
0
"They"

Look at the jail report, news articles, etc. and decide for yourself who "they" are.

itsanotherday1
42296
Points
itsanotherday1 12/16/12 - 12:27 pm
8
0
Looking back through the

Looking back through the posts I see JRC made an excellent point. "They" are the ones decent people (that means people of all race, creed, and national origin) don't want to be around.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 12/16/12 - 12:27 pm
4
1
Gwinnett has gone down a bit

Gwinnett has gone down a bit over the years. The demographics have changed. The only thing that will change areas like Fulton, Gwinnett, and even Richmond County (South Augusta in particular) is attracting a more diverse population. Bringing in people who will buy homes, spend money, contribute to the tax base, and populate the area and make others want to populate the area. As a person from the outside looking in, NOBODY wants to live there unless they were born and raised there because it is NOT an attractive place to be. It's unsafe, and riddled with too many pocket areas of crime and poverty. It's not just Augusta, so I'm not bashing the area, but until people realize that demographics and crime controls everything in the long run, it will continue to decline.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/16/12 - 12:47 pm
4
0
Countyman

Seriously

Granted I do learn new good things reading your remarks.
We need your comments as a fair balance. Yes while we may pick at you about your overly PRO-comments. They are welcomed news, just the same.

But we also need to continue to address the disparities and issues that are being pushed under the table. Many of the issues are being relocated to the county, as certain power brokers buy up large tracts of distressed properties, clean up and clean out years of Downtown mistakes.

A lot of mine and some others, comments as simple to boil down:
Why is Downtown properties always being suggested for NEW projects?
When over 2/3 of A-RC is outside of the old City limits. Yet about 1/2 of every tax dollar is being spend improving or maintaining the city.

To add insult to injury,
it is open an acknowledge of the fact the County is TAXED at a rate higher that Downtown. An it was openly setup that way from day 1 of the consolidation to rebuild a overspent and bankrupted Downtown.

We are not naive, we see it, we know it and understand it.

May be it is time to up dated District Lines based on population movement instead still using the politically race based districts lines of 16 years ago?

seenitB4
85836
Points
seenitB4 12/16/12 - 01:50 pm
5
0
I know you guys love to focus on South Augusta

and this is the REASON why ctyman....

Follow Crime & courts

The Richmond Hill emergency response area – bordered by Deans Bridge Road on the west, Gordon Highway on the north, Peach Orchard Road on the east and Bobby Jones Expressway on the south – had the highest number of reported crimes tracked by The Augusta Chronicle in the past year.

READ----HIGHEST # OF CRIMES TRACKED ----HIGHEST #

itsanotherday1
42296
Points
itsanotherday1 12/16/12 - 01:53 pm
3
1
OC

Easy for me to say because I don't pay Richmond Co. taxes; but from my view on the outside looking in, investing in downtown at a higher rate eventually pays dividends to all residents in the form of a larger commercial tax base and more employment opportunities. Without the "city", you would have a hard time attracting the commercial development CM constantly reminds us of. Do you think Rockwood or Starbucks would locate in Wrens? I don't. There needs to be public amenities and attractive surroundings for them to bring their management team in; in addition to of course, a local source of manpower.

As for the disparity in taxation? You have my empathy and support; I would be raising H-E- double hockey sticks too.

seenitB4
85836
Points
seenitB4 12/16/12 - 01:56 pm
7
1
Gwinnett county Police

Gwinnett county police are a lot like Columbia county Police.....they mean business & get the job done......I have seen them in action nearby....they surrounded a neighborhood within minutes & flushed out a punk hiding out in a home he had broken into....every policeman had a heavy duty weapon & every corner was covered ....with police dogs also.... NO NONESENSE kind of guys....we are proud of them.

dwb619
91659
Points
dwb619 12/16/12 - 05:27 pm
0
0
North Augusta airport

Never heard anything about an airport in North Augusta, last one was on Schultz Hill, way before my time. And it wasn't an "airport".
Several years ago there was very limited discussion of a regional airport east of Aiken,supposedly it purpose would have been to take some of the load off Hartsfield.

oldredneckman96
5080
Points
oldredneckman96 12/16/12 - 06:17 pm
3
0
We vs They?
Unpublished

Well, I am an old red neck and here is my definition of we vs. they. “We” are the ones just trying to make and enjoy a living. “They” are the ones who want to take that away. There is no color, creed or other divisive thing other than that. If “we”, stand up to “they” with force, then we all can live in peace. This is why our Constitution guarantees us the right to do so with the Second Amendment.

Sweet son
10117
Points
Sweet son 12/16/12 - 09:56 pm
1
0
Boundaries don't make sense!

But I am sure that the folks in whatever area Bianca and Sandy are trying to describe don't appreciate the designation. They need to leave the Richmond Hill designation alone and just report the story with better compass boundaries.

countyman
19754
Points
countyman 12/16/12 - 10:26 pm
1
0
Seenitb4. South Augusta is

Seenitb4. South Augusta is the largest part of the county in land mass and population..

It's not surprising one of the areas in South Augusta leads in total numbers. The better way is too look at the crime per capita.

The Richmond County police are no nonsense too, and were proud of them also.

Can you please answer my question? Since you seem to think it's so easy to clean up certain parts of each county. Why can't Gwinnett which is a suburb, and doesn't even have a inner city clean up the parts of the county?

The Gwinnett Place mall area continues to go downhill.

Gagecreed. I never said Richmond County didn't have bad areas, but I'm glad to hear you acknowledge so does North Augusta.

JggrNAUT
223
Points
JggrNAUT 12/17/12 - 05:28 am
0
0
Answers

Well, now I truly know who y'all mean. I didn't ask about race but your comments now let me know more about the attitudes towards "they". God Bless You.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/17/12 - 10:50 am
0
0
Gwinnett Place - down hill & 3/4 closed

Yes it is ...

Reasons?

2 new malls with 3 miles were built Mall of GA. & Discovery Mills - on land owned by certain friends of now convicted and resigned commissioners who rezoned or even owned the land using proxy relative ownership to skirt the laws.

They then added a Gwinnett Co. Bus Hub Station next to the mall and a direct connection to MARTA (there is a joke with this name). All against local community groups and resident requests. The Mall and the Gwinnett Place Community Assoc. Lost its fight.

Then The Commission approved the building of a $29M Ball Stadium against the voted will of the voters. Which ended up costing $49M and on land that special donors / power brokers owned.

The County Commissioners 1/2 in jail or resigned now, approved zoning request and after zoning request for High Density Housing all around the Gwinnett Place Mall. So many in fact, the owners started renting $1200 a month units for $450- $500 and stopped making repairs. Gangs moved into the cheap housing and the results are plain the see.

Stephen Hills and Cardinal Lakes upper middle class areas saw increased crime and gang problems in the area and surrounding shopping centers and bailed to Swanee or Hall County. Breckly Lakes hired Special Armed patrols to protect itself, when response times for Gwinnett Police grew past 20 mins.

It short the County Commissioners $$ GREED and crooked deals doomed a number of long stable community areas.

Does it sounds like another, closer to home situation.

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