Detectives: few responsible for many Columbus burglaries - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Detectives: few responsible for many Columbus burglaries

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Christopher McBride loaded appliances into this vehicle (source: Columbus Police) Christopher McBride loaded appliances into this vehicle (source: Columbus Police)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

In a relatively short period of time, a lot of money was collectively lost by Columbus residents due to home break-ins, but a large amount of it has been recovered.

"Over one hundred thousand dollars. If you count the guns, the TVs, the laptops, the jewelry, and we're just talking about the last five months."

Sgt. Joe Weatherford addressed the media at a press conference announcing some impressive figures and thanking his team of detectives for their diligence and hard work.

"They have apprehended at least 34 suspects and cleared 448 eight cases," said Weatherford, "We easily over double the national average on clearances for this type of crime."

Weatherford said crime has dropped significantly after these suspects were recently put in jail, which he said proves that only a few people are responsible.  It's especially true of one person arrested last week.

"..and this suspect has been linked to over 200 residential burglaries over the past several years," said Weatherford.

That person's identity is being withheld pending the completion of more paperwork, but Weatherford said the burglaries he committed are mostly in the east side of town.

Many of these arrests are made with the help of watchful neighbors, like David Bizzle, who noticed something suspicious happening across the street from his house.

"Three people came out from behind the back of the house carrying TVs and trays and everything else.   Once they noticed me, they got real nervous. They started dropping things, and it was nuts," said Bizzle as he recounted a midday scene in January.

His call to 911 led to the arrest of Preston Kennedy, who police are connecting to 77 different auto break-ins, burglaries, and thefts. One of the victims said three months later, she is still dealing with insurance and the hassle of missing important data on her computers.

"Repercussions from it go on and on and on.   It doesn't just stop once the burglary is over."

She encourages everyone to password protect their electronics and store serial numbers of expensive items.

Earlier this week, police arrested Christopher McBride for targeting houses that are for sale.   Detectives said McBride was loading a stove into his black Volkswagen Touareg when a real estate agent just happened to pass by and asked him what he was doing.   McBride pretended to be inspecting houses for a bank and showed an official looking large ring of keys.   But the agent knew better and alerted authorities.

Police said McBride's crimes may have been going unnoticed and unchallenged for a long time. There were no signs of forced entry at the house on Henson Avenue where he was caught.

If you recently had a house for sale and think you may have been a victim or recognize McBride being in your neighborhood, you're asked to call Sgt. Joe Weatherford at Columbus Police (706) 225 4345. 

All photos of suspects in this story were provided by Columbus Police or the Muscogee County Jail.

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