Valdosta Daily Times

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February 3, 2014

Burglary: Answering a call

-- — In response to a recent spike in break-ins, the Valdosta Police Department initiated a burglary unit Monday.

The announcement of the unit comes in the wake of an interrupted burglary last week. Police caught one suspect hiding in a house while another suspect was apprehended after a chase through the city.

The new unit isn’t specifically in response to this singular case, but to an increase in burglaries throughout Valdosta.

Led by newly promoted Sgt. Chris Crews, the burglary unit is part of the VPD’s investigative division. It will work specifically on solving and reducing the number of residential and commercial burglaries within the Valdosta city limits.

In the past year, Valdosta experienced drops in all major crimes with the exception of burglaries. Burglaries increased, Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress said. In more recent weeks, residential burglaries have climbed higher.

In addition to the committed burglary unit, Childress offers suggestions to help citizens prevent and solve burglary cases.

Childress recommends keeping records of serial numbers on all television sets and electronic equipment. Serial numbers should be recorded as soon as an item is purchased. If it is stolen, the VPD enters these serial numbers into the Georgia Crime Information Computer, which is then entered into the National Crime Information Computer. Serial numbers can increase the possibility of a stolen item being recovered and can help apprehend burglary suspects.

If a person can afford one, a residential alarm system can deter burglaries.

If people see something suspicious in their neighborhoods, call 911. Callers can remain anonymous while helping their neighbors.

Form neighborhood watches, which can protect communities from burglaries. The VPD promotes the creation, restoration and strengthening of neighborhood watch groups. Communities interested in establishing a neighborhood watch may call Valdosta Police Officer Vernotis Williams, (229) 293-3090, for more information.

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