Midland neighbors fighting crime - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Midland neighbors fighting crime

by Jason Dennis - bio | email | Twitter

MIDLAND, GA (WTVM) -  Citizens in one part of Muscogee County are joining together to fight crime, which is on the rise where they live.

People in the Midland area, specifically around Chattsworth and Garrett roads, met Tuesday night to start a new Neighborhood Watch group.

Ken Goldman is one of the recent burglary vicrtims.  He has lived in his home on Chattsworth Road in Midland for 24 years now and this month was the first time, they've been targetted by thieves. Goldman's wife was home when it happened.

"3 guys kicked in our back door. Obviously I don't think they knew she was home, but she screamed out she was there," Goldman told us.

She wasn't hurt and the burglars stole a laptop. Two weeks later, Goldman and more than 50 of his neighbors showed up to a meeting to create a Neighborhood Watch.

In their small area, there's been about one break-in a month lately, two in one day. Some blame recent work on nearby Fort Benning.

"Since we've had some construction going on, we've had some unwanted visitors in our area, people that know about our area that once didn't," said Neighborhood Watch coordinator Judy Rowe, who lives on Chattsworth Road, across from Fort Benning.

"Anytime you get more people, there's more opportunities for criminals to commit crimes," Columbus police Sgt. Warren Dunlap said, about the recent construction and growth in Midland.

Columbus' police chief was at Tuesday's meeting, as one of his officers gave neighbors pointers on looking out for each other, saying communication is their best weapon.

About the neighborhood watch, Rowe said, "We'll be able to email one another when we see suspicious vehicles."

"When they're not communicating, it makes it very easy for thieves and perpetrators to come in, hit one spot, people on the other side of the neighborhood have no clue that anything even went on," Sgt. Dunlap added.

He also advises how important it is to record serial numbers for your valuables and don't hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Eventually, neighborhood watch signs will go up in the Midland area, where they're already seeing increased police patrols.

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