COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – It was a big deal last week when Columbus police made 22 arrests and recovered more than $100,000 in stolen property.
In just six days, Columbus police launched a special operations investigation along with the patrol unit to get it done.
Officers also succeeded in recovering 10 stolen vehicles. Burglaries and property crimes are higher in Georgia and even higher in Columbus, than the rest of the nation.
Recent statistics say on average in the U.S., five of every thousand people are victims of burglaries and 18 of every thousand people are victims of theft.
Compare that to the Columbus averages, where 12 people of every thousand experience a burglary and 38 people out of every thousand are victims of theft.
Property and auto theft may not seem like the biggest crimes, but there is an undeniable effect on our well-being and perception of safety when break-ins happen to us or near us, or when cars are stolen on our streets.
Neighbors can do a lot to help the police by being vigilant and reporting suspicious activities. Looking out for your neighbors is always a good idea, even if you may not know them that well.
There is a lot we can do to help ourselves avoid being a target of theft. Keep your property well lit. If you have a dog, reward them for watchdog behavior that alerts you to changes they may see or hear outside.
A dog can be an excellent deterrent to break-ins. Burglars have proven they'll go elsewhere rather than risk entering a home with an animal, even a small one.
The police can't be everywhere, so we all have to do our best to stay safe. But it's comforting to know the Columbus police can - and do - make a meaningful dent in the type of crime that affects our quality of life and our sense of security.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to email@example.com or write to:
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1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906