Police canvass, better awareness paying off in west Augusta neighborhood

Police look to residents' aid to curb thefts

In the week since police canvassed a west Augusta neighborhood to address a burglary problem, officers said no further incidents have been reported and residents are on high alert.

“They realize they’ve got to be our eyes and ears,” Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Calvin Chew said of the 1,300 residents who live in townhomes and apartments off of West Wheeler Parkway.

The neighborhood has had about 100 break-ins in the past 15 months.

Police said burglars have been breaking in through a back door or window and taking jewelry, small electronics, cash and firearms.

About 60 officers on March 28 went door-to-door and stopped incoming and outgoing traffic to inform residents of the problem and ask them to report suspicious behavior.

“We’ve seen an overwhelming response,” Chew said.

Residents were welcoming to police, he said, and have demonstrated an increased awareness and started reporting suspicious activity to police.

The day after the canvassing, police began receiving tips nearly every day, according to sheriff’s office records. Chew said the tips have not led to any arrests, but there also haven’t been any burglaries since the concentrated police presence.

Police canvass burglarized neighborhood
West Wheeler break-ins prompt police canvass effort
HELP THE POLICE

Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (706) 821-1080 or rcsointel@augustaga.gov.

More