Thanks to the involvement of a concerned citizen and the additional patrol units assigned during the holiday season, four Valdosta juveniles were arrested and charged with burglary Tuesday.
At approximately 3:08 p.m., Valdosta patrol units were dispatched to the 1700 block of Jimmy Carter Drive in reference to a call made by a concerned witness in the area, a report from the Valdosta Police Department stated.
The witness told officers that four young black males were seen running from behind the residence into the woods, carrying two flat screen televisions and an Xbox Game System, according to reports.
Officers located the two flat screen televisions in the woods and a short time later, with the assistance of the VPD K-9 Units, four black males—ages 15 and 16-years old— matching the description given by the witness were located and detained, reports stated. All four were identified as the persons seen running into the woods. They were transported to the Valdosta Police Department for questioning by the Property Crimes Unit, according to reports.
After questioning the suspects and making contact with the Department of Juvenile Justice, the suspects were transported to the Lowndes County Jail.
All were charged with burglary and one was also charged with possession of marijuana, reports stated.
The Valdosta Police Department commends the citizen who made the call and the VPD patrol and investigations division. Because of the combined efforts, arrests were made and all property was recovered.
If anyone has additional information pertaining to this crime or any other crime, please contact the Valdosta Police Department at (229) 293-3145 or remain anonymous at (229) 293-3091.
• Unsolved Christmas Burglaries
While the Jimmy Carter Drive burglary was solved and property returned to the victims, another string of Christmas Eve burglaries are still under investigation. In Wednesday’s edition of The Times, a victim of the Brookstone Apartment complex reported coming home from a holiday trip to find her residence— as well as others in the complex —had been burglarized.
Valdosta Police Lt. Aaron Kirk said the incident appears to be a random act by criminals who seek to take advantage of the areas where college students reside. He said the holidays give the criminals the perfect opportunity due to the fact that most students leave the area to visit family and friends.
Looking over the past year, the lieutenant added Brookstone Apartments have had very few minor incidents reported, and is therefore thought to be a safe environment for college students to reside.
“A string of burglaries happen every year, especially around the Christmas holiday,” Kirk said. “Criminals know when Valdosta State University students go home. There is no guaranteed way to prevent property crimes, but people can take preventative measures.”
In a previous report, Valdosta Police Commander Brian Childress advised residents, especially those living in college communities, of some of these safety measures:
• make sure that trusted individuals are notified that the student will be out of town;
• leave a light on and if there is an alarm system, use it;
He also said that citizens can call the VPD and ask for a “house check,” in which officers on patrol will periodically check areas.
“We have a burglary detail out that has been working over the holidays to curb an increase in burglaries during the holidays,” said Childress. “So far that unit has been very effective. Our success rate has been well above the national average.”