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Vehicle break-ins on the rise this year in Augusta

Sunday, Aug 25, 2013 10:00 PM
Last updated Monday, Aug 26, 2013 1:08 AM
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Automobile break-ins are up by 20 percent this year, prompting officers to go door-to-door in some hard-hit neighborhoods to spread safety tips.

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Investigator Jimmy Wren (from left), Aaron Phillips and Michael Pletcher look through safety pamphlets they are passing out.   SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Investigator Jimmy Wren (from left), Aaron Phillips and Michael Pletcher look through safety pamphlets they are passing out.

Since July, investigators have charged 12 people with multiple instances of theft from vehicles. One person, whose name has not been released, is a suspect in at least 30 cases, and police continue to connect him to more cases, according to Richmond County Sheriff’s Lt. Lewis Blanchard.

On Thursday, employees from all divisions of the sheriff’s office went to the nearly 200 apartments at Lenox Place on the 3200 block of Wrightsboro Road, talking to residents and putting prevention brochures in doors and on windshields.

“It’s a two-fold thing,” Lt. Randy Prickett said of the event, which focused on two subjects that have caused concern.

That area of Wrightsboro Road has experienced several automobile break-ins and pedestrian fatalities in the last few years, Prickett said.

“They were very appreciative,” he added. “Working together is what it’s all about.”

Break-ins have been scattered across the county, but police are seeing the most cases generated downtown near Ellis Street, around some West Wheeler Parkway neighborhoods and also the Georgian Place Apartments off Wrightsboro Road.

According to Lt. Jimmy Young, this year’s total of 1,297 auto break-ins through July is nearly 300 more than the same period last year, which illustrates a problem to investigators. However, the number is still fewer than the 1,758 cases through July in 2011.

Investigators said they hope media blitzes, flyers and meetings with neighborhood associations will make people aware of the problem.

But summer is always the worst.

Blanchard said that most cases can be prevented just by locking the doors.

“When they have to break a window, they draw attention to themselves,” Blanchard said. “Breaking a window is not the method of choice.”

In interviews with suspects, investigators find that thieves are generally looking for a “grab and go.” They target items that can easily be carried, are left in plain sight, and even cases where there appears to be something of value hidden.

Investigators see lots of cases where people will hide purses or electronics with a blanket or coat, but a jacket on the seat signals a prize underneath to thieves.

“It’s never the victim’s fault, but don’t set yourself up to be a victim either,” Blanchard said.

A locked vehicle won’t be a deterrent in all cases, but most thieves told police they want to hit as many vehicles in a neighborhood or parking lot as they can at once.

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dichotomy
32853
Points
dichotomy 08/25/13 - 11:20 pm
12
2
A sniper in a second floor

A sniper in a second floor apartment window overlooking the parking lot is the best deterrent. Every apartment complex should have one.

corgimom
32231
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 06:31 am
4
3
But Augusta is SAFE, how

But Augusta is SAFE, how could this be happening?

GnipGnop
12227
Points
GnipGnop 08/26/13 - 07:24 am
10
1
I thought the FBI

Said Augusta was safer...crime was down....we keep up this rate and only Four Guys will come...number Five will get robbed, carjacked and shot....

d1zmljqg
933
Points
d1zmljqg 08/26/13 - 07:24 am
4
0
Criminal activity

in Augusta never appears to wane. Day after day the Chronicle seems to have a smorgasbord to chose from.

corgimom is SAFE a local acronym (I'm a transplanted Georgia native?)

nocnoc
42470
Points
nocnoc 08/26/13 - 07:26 am
6
0
Back In June of this year

We had such a visitor.
We live off Brown Rd. and our Youtube video shows despite our remoteness and his style of dress being obviously totally out of place for the houses and the late hour. Few people bothered challenge him as they drove by.

He strolls into my driveway, Saggin, dew-rag, White Tank-top, has a Smart phone he is using for a flashlight. He sets off the Driveway Alarm, Security Light came on and he saw the Security Cameras, did a Right Turn and just walked into my neighbors yard then checked out his vehicles. Total time less than 1 minute for both yards.

The time it took me to me to toss on pants, grab the 870 switch on the mag lite, check the door area, open it, and get in the yard about 3 mins.

I caught sight of him rounding the corner into Trade Winds down the street. Called 911 from the yard, I was asked to put the 870 up and RCSO arrived w/i 4mins of the call.

The deputy looked, but could not locate him.

Next morning I posted Information posters of him in every store with 2 miles and placed posters on Trade Winds mail boxes. I kept replacing the store posters that frequently disappeared, for a few weeks.

He has been recently in the Dollar General on Brown Road and frequently outside a house in the Chambers and Woodberry Dr. area.

One thing for sure the area is on to him and passing info around.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ns72nE8V-I

nocnoc
42470
Points
nocnoc 08/26/13 - 07:55 am
3
0
Simple Car Alarm

I have mention this before
Harbor Freight - Driveway alarm (LT $15.00)
http://www.harborfreight.com/wireless-driveway-alert-system-93068.html

I mounted 3 units: 1 at the Top of the driveway, and 1 ever side of the vehicles.

Note: 14 different channels to avoid false alarms, plus the units have a 400 foot range between the sensor and the alarm receiver.

A friend who lives in apartment places his sensor in
his car on the dash, so a person entering the vehicle sets it off.

seenitB4
86957
Points
seenitB4 08/26/13 - 08:04 am
3
0
This happens here too

Don't think you are safe & snug as a bug.....they come from other towns & park their car nearby....it takes just a few minutes to cover 3 or 4 houses & cars....we had some here & the police were called...

Riverman1
83725
Points
Riverman1 08/26/13 - 08:18 am
5
0
Why Lock the Car?

I disagree with locking your car. Don't keep anything in it of value and hopefully they'll just look and not break the window.

corgimom
32231
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 08:42 am
3
0
Saturday night, some people

Saturday night, some people came through our neighborhood. They vandalized houses, cars, boats, and mailboxes. Everything was spraypainted.

One elderly widow had obscenities painted on her garage door.

We were fortunate, we weren't affected, we live on a side street.

I saw at least 20 homes vandalized. The police officer told me, "I was told there were 85 victims, I hope they were kidding".

It has gone crazy. Absolutely crazy. The whole United States has gone crazy.

corgimom
32231
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 08:44 am
4
0
nocnoc, your mistake was

nocnoc, your mistake was putting on your pants.

You can shoot just as well nekkid as you can, clothed.

seenitB4
86957
Points
seenitB4 08/26/13 - 08:54 am
3
0
Yep we have corgi

To this..

It has gone crazy. Absolutely crazy. The whole United States has gone crazy.

It is a game now ..the punks just try whatever they can get away with....we pay for extra police patrol in this neighborhood & it is worth it....even the gated areas have been hit......we bend over backwards to give punks a chance..IT IS NOT WORKING!

corgimom
32231
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 08:58 am
2
0
We have a security patrol

We have a security patrol that we pay for, too.

nocnoc
42470
Points
nocnoc 08/26/13 - 09:12 am
4
0
corgimom - Pants were needed

Picture a less than perfect shaped 300lb, 6'2, almost 60 y/o guy in boxers standing over a thug, caught on a front yard camera being used as evidence.

Now picture A TV Show late at night and the security video that
has become Publicly available after the trail and the case is over.

BTW: I load my 12ga, 1st round filled with Rock salt.
No one is worth killing of a couple $100's worth electronic gear.
But come at me, the family or towards my house door and all bets are off.

CobaltGeorge
158360
Points
CobaltGeorge 08/26/13 - 10:18 am
1
1
nocnoc

You know I always agree with you 100% of the time....but...
No one is worth killing of a couple $100's worth electronic gear. is not my way of thinking.

Most thieves are more than likely are nothing but a waiting murder. Next time it will be a $100.00 taken by killing someone. Stopping him/her now may just save someone's life.

Stealing a one penny nail from me, if seen, is instance death.

corgimom
32231
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 11:49 am
3
0
CG, yes, I can see your

CG, yes, I can see your point. Yes, a whole lot of them are just murders waiting to happen, and yes, they will shoot you over $5.

corgimom
32231
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 12:07 pm
3
0
Hey nocnoc, just think of the

Hey nocnoc, just think of the psychological terror you would instill in the thief.

"Hey, that dude, he be CRAY CRAY, he's running at me with nothing on but boxer shorts and he ain't saggin' them, I'm getting out of here!"

It would do more than the gun to deter future crimes.

Sweet son
10372
Points
Sweet son 08/26/13 - 12:28 pm
2
0
Leave it unlocked

Don't leave anything in it! Let them rummage around and it's over!

nocnoc
42470
Points
nocnoc 08/26/13 - 01:09 pm
3
0
Well we can't agree 100% all the time.

Each person has a set values they stand by.
To me killing is reserved for the self-protection of my family, my friends and myself.

If he running AWAY, I am aiming to load his butt with Rock Salt.

If he is running AT me, RCSO CSI will need to do a DNA ID.
My 2nd round is a 9P-00, 3rd is a Sabot-Slug.

nocnoc
42470
Points
nocnoc 08/26/13 - 01:11 pm
3
0
corgimom - If he saw me in Boxers

I would be sure to catch him.

Have you ever tried to run laughing your tail off ?

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