Valdosta Daily Times

March 26, 2014

Burglaries: Stay on guard

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Monday’s burglary and near-home invasion in Valdosta was thwarted by a homeowner who was able to detain one of the two young men at gunpoint while the other ran into the woods and was quickly apprehended by law enforcement.

Had one of the men decided to shoot rather than run, the story would have had a very different and most likely tragic outcome.

The break-in happened on a well-traveled street, in a subdivision in the middle of the city, at lunchtime on a workday. Gone are the days when burglars struck primarily at night. Most of the city’s break-ins are during the time when they assume the homeowners will be at work.

The problem of residential burglaries in Valdosta is a pervasive one, but with the apprehension of these young men, perhaps others will be deterred from doing the same. The homeowner lauded the Valdosta Police Department and its response time, as well as its efficiency in capturing the second suspect.

While home alarm systems can be effective against burglaries, the best defense is a good offense. A strong neighborhood watch group with a relationship with local police officers is one of the best crime-prevention tools available. Neighbors watching out for each other is an often forgotten but highly effective manner of protecting one's property and that of others.

Another deterrent is to be vigilant about who you let into your home. You never know when someone working in or around your home might decide that they see something they like and come back for it at another time.

Use common sense in answering your door, and ensure that if you have strangers in your home for whatever reason, you might consider putting away items of value.

Don’t let Southern manners allow you to let your guard down.