THOMSON --- During the past two months, a rash of residential and commercial break-ins throughout Thomson has netted intruders property and cash.
Police made two arrests last week and have filed burglary charges against both of those suspects. Authorities believe there are several other burglars behind the series of break-ins, but aren't sure whether they are part of any organized group.
"There have been a lot of similarities to the residential and commercial break-ins that we've been experiencing the last two months," Thomson Police Department Investigator Scott Whittle said..
During the past two months, police have investigated 36 burglaries within the city limits, Lt. Whittle said. Thirteen of them occurred in November and the rest had occurred this month as of Saturday morning.
"We've really been hit hard by these burglaries," he said. "The county has had a lot of them, too."
In many cases, homeowners and business owners don't have burglar alarms.
"I would advise anybody that could afford burglar alarms to get them, because it does help," Lt. Whittle said. "I'd also advise homeowners and business owners to keep some lights on inside and around their homes and businesses. Sometimes that keeps burglars away."
He urged them to have safes bolted to the floor. In several recent break-ins, intruders stole safes along with the valuables inside.
Money and property were in the safe of Dallas and Medlin Law Firm, on Black Street, which was recently burglarized. Officer Don Hilson said someone broke a window on the south side of the building to get inside.
The intruders made off with the safe.
As of Saturday morning, police still were searching for the safe and other goods and the burglars.
"We're hoping to run down some leads that might bring about some other arrests," Lt. Whittle said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Thomson Police Department at (706) 595-2166.
CRIMES HIT HIGHWAY
Deputies for the McDuffie County Sheriff's Office have been busy with crimes committed along the Washington Road business district near Thomson.
One of the latest incidents involved the armed robbery of the Scottish Inn motel on Christmas Eve. The robber was described as a black man, between 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-3 and weighing 260 pounds. After walking up to a counter,he pointed a handgun and demanded money.
He left without any money. No one was injured.
In other crimes along that stretch of Washington Road, at least one burglary and one vandalism have occurred in recent nights, and a manager's car was stolen at Checkers.
As of Saturday morning, there had been no arrests in any of these cases.