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Number of burglary reports drops again in Richmond County

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Reported burglaries dropped for a second consecutive year in Richmond County in 2012 and police credit several strategies, including undercover “stings” and creating a unit that focuses on curbing one of the most common crimes.

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Richmond County sheriff's Deputy William Hultman patrols a neighborhood in Augusta as part of the Burglary Suppression Team.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Richmond County sheriff's Deputy William Hultman patrols a neighborhood in Augusta as part of the Burglary Suppression Team.

“We feel good about it,” Maj. Scott Peebles said. “We’ve put so much into reducing our burglaries.”

Statistics for 2012 showed 400 fewer burglary cases compared with 2011, which had 250 less reported burglaries than in 2010.

Authorities began to see an increase in the number of reported burglaries in 2010. The year ended with 3,869 burglary cases, a number that had been increasing for several years. But in February 2011, the Burglary Suppression Team was implemented with the goal of cutting down those numbers.

Lt. Pat Young said it has accomplished that.

“They’re able to do things regular deputies can’t do,” he said.

The eight-member team looks for suspicious activity in neighborhoods. Since its creation, only seven of 22 months through 2012 had more than 300 cases per month. In 2010, before the unit’s creation, there were eight months with more than 300 burglary cases.

The suppression team has helped cut into the heavy caseload of the five burglary investigators, allowing detectives more time to dedicate to their cases and beat neighborhoods.

“We’ve got a good core group of investigators,” Peebles said. “It’s probably one of the best groups we’ve had.”

Operation Smoke Screen, an undercover operation that ended in February 2011, helped drop the numbers further and resulted in more than 100 burglary-related arrests and the return of hundreds of stolen items.

Young said the sheriff’s office continues to look at other ways to continue the decline in burglary cases.

“We’re using any type of technology we can get our hands on,” he said.

Young said the crime scene unit has moved through its backlog and is processing information twice as fast. Residents are also playing a key role in the decline, as they are increasingly coming forward to report tips and assist in investigations.

“I think the folks in Richmond County are just tired of being victims,” Young said.

Although the drop is a good sign for burglary investigators, Young said there’s still work to do.

“When someone’s house gets broke into, it’s like my house being broken into,” he said. “I would like to continue this trend at a greater percentage.”

BY THE NUMBERS

For the second consecutive year, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office received fewer burglary reports. A look at the numbers:

YearReported burglaries
20083,190
20093,243
20103,869
20113,607
20123,212

Source: Richmond County Sheriff’s Office

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Riverman1
84887
Points
Riverman1 03/23/13 - 03:19 pm
4
0
Murders Drastically Dropped

Check the murders at the beginning of this year against those at the start of last year?

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 03/23/13 - 03:54 pm
2
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Glad it's gotten better since

Glad it's gotten better since about 4 years ago.

dichotomy
33480
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dichotomy 03/23/13 - 03:59 pm
3
5
It's just gotten easier to

It's just gotten easier to get welfare, food stamps, and drug addict SSI benefits in the last 4 years since Obama has been president. Less need to steal.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 03/23/13 - 06:27 pm
2
0
dichotomy, people still

dichotomy, people still steal. They don't steal because they need food, they steal because it's easy, no consequence, and selfishness. Just ask the local DA's office.

daviddunagan
331
Points
daviddunagan 03/23/13 - 09:47 pm
3
1
Thank You

Thank you to all of the men and women on the Sheriff's Department. From road patrol to the jail to CID to the staff and to the administration. Thank you for keeping us safe and know that you are appreciated. DD

GnipGnop
12275
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GnipGnop 03/23/13 - 10:13 pm
3
0
Reported...

How many are unreported?

Brad Owens
4583
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Brad Owens 03/24/13 - 09:24 am
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Funny...

When a focus is placed on a problem and the resources are allocated to support a plan of action, things can be improved.

Novel idea, actually DO something about a problem.

As I have said since the election, give our young Sheriff time to bring us into the 21st century and see what can be accomplished.

Too bad lots of folks are rooting for Sheriff Roundtree to fail and look for every opportunity to make big mountains out of ant hills.

Before we can have economic growth we must have safety and security. Then and only then can we work on the public education system to try to fix the other root cause of all this poverty.

This is great news, hope we get more of it, because we sure can use it.

Brad

thauch12
6739
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thauch12 03/24/13 - 01:47 pm
0
1
Patting themselves on the back too quickly?

The arguable effect of policework aside, I can't help but to think that the simpler explanation for this drop in crime is that this was a year when the economy actually improved...

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 03/24/13 - 01:55 pm
0
0
GnipGnop

has a point about unreported cases. Years ago, one would have a hard time just getting a decent investigation into a burglary. And Savannah was recently in the news for under-reporting burglary's and other crimes so that the stats looked good for the city. Not at all saying that is happening here, but numbers CAN be misleading when it comes to if or how an investigation is done. I know, because it happened to me twice.

Austin Rhodes
2866
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Austin Rhodes 03/24/13 - 11:17 pm
1
1
Did you actually read the dates involved?

There is no information posted here...NONE...since Roundtree was sworn in. 2012 and 2011 belong to Strength.

And yes, the murder rate is WAY down from the first three months of 2012 compared to 2013. There were an abnormally high number of intimate relation and family killings in that time period last year (including one child who fell into a pool while his mother slept)...but hey...good news is good news...there were fewer dead people.

lifelongresident
1323
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lifelongresident 03/25/13 - 08:34 am
0
0
folks this is nothing more
Unpublished

folks this is nothing more than a public relation blitz because the beginning of next month it's master's week and the local gov't wants to give locals and tourists the impression there is effective crime control in augusta....3 years ago it was front page news about increased drug busts and the methods used by police to combat crime, drugs, and prostitution. this time it's burglaries..with more and more people getting welfare and "otha gubment benafits" they are less likely to report property crimes other than "my EBT card was stole"..if augusta really wanted to decrease crime they would get out of the public housing business...tear down all public housing except for the elderly and truly disabled (not "my son lysterine has asthma, or add-adhd) and let the leeches, moochers and parasitic class get jobs and start paying their own way instead of taxpaying, law-abiding citizens taking care of kay'wahnda and her 5 kids. give her and all other moochers, leeches, and parasites $500 and a one way bus ticket to anywhere in the country...perferably major cities where most of the moochers, leeches, and parasites who make a living off of "da gubment benafits" live

seenitB4
88068
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seenitB4 03/25/13 - 09:43 am
1
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^^give credit

Me thinks some will find it very hard to give Rtree credit even when he deserves it.....
Murders are down....I give credit to the RCSO...all of them.

seenitB4
88068
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seenitB4 03/25/13 - 09:45 am
2
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Yeh Brad ..think you are right about this

Too bad lots of folks are rooting for Sheriff Roundtree to fail and look for every opportunity to make big mountains out of ant hills.

Brad Owens
4583
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Brad Owens 03/25/13 - 12:00 pm
0
1
Austin..

No one is trying to give credit to Sheriff Rtree what are you talking about? All I was saying was imagine how much better this will be once all of his new and innovative ideas are put in place. I notice the article didn't say he ended any of these task force related items.

I am cautiously optimistic that new technology coupled with focused action will produce even greater results.

Brad

seenitB4
88068
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seenitB4 03/25/13 - 01:23 pm
1
0
Hi Facebook readers

Unlike some .....I think the man deserves a chance in the job......he was voted in as Sheriff.....like it or not.....he is the MAN right now.....I would love to see Richmond county a much safer county...I'm sure the readers would too...thanks ...

shelly11662
5
Points
shelly11662 03/26/13 - 11:32 am
1
0
Austin Rhodes you deleted my

Austin Rhodes you deleted my comments and blocked me on your Facebook page. Epic!!! I just wanted you to admit you were wrong for once and you just couldn't do it. Shame on you for showing your true colors. Your obvious contempt for the sheriff is sad, especially since your comment can be proven wrong. I can see why you didn't cut it as a reporter.

And you refer to me as a raging biddy? I've been called worse. I simply wanted you to admit you were wrong about what you posted and clearly you aren't going to. I kinda admire the gall but have lost any respect I might have had for you as a person. Humilty. Learn it.

lifelongresident
1323
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lifelongresident 04/02/13 - 08:36 am
0
0
brad i would hope that it is
Unpublished

brad i would hope that it is good news but i question the timing...where was this article at the beginning of the year??? it is now april and now this comes out...a similar situation happened approx 3-4 years ago a big article about the tactics undercover officers are using to catch drug sales, prostitution, and other crimes in the inner city areas (watching from abandon houses, proactive patrols...etc) this article too came out around this time...it is my contention articles like this always seems to make it to print right before the masters...just another effort to put lipstick on a pig....if you really want crime supression why not decentralize the police, get them into community policing with community precincts instead of having 40-50 patrol cars and a substation located in daniel village...a precinct would be more effective located down town in the inner city or on east boundry/sand bar ferry road located next to the park on jb blvd with officer walking a beat getting to know the community as well as establishing a visual presence where it is needed the most.

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