Burglaries spike in Wiregrass, possibly connected

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

HOUSTON COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Several Wiregrass counties are reporting a spike in burglaries.

Thursday, Houston, Henry, Dale, and Geneva County Sheriffs held a joint meeting to collaborate their efforts and catch the thieves.

All four counties have noticed the increase in criminal activity, and they believe the thefts are connected.

Cowarts resident Mel Strobel says his neighborhood is concerned about the recent rash in burglaries, especially since the majority of break-ins have been in residential areas.

Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes said, "Most have occurred during the day while people are not at home, and the method of entry is mostly made by kicking in the front or back door.  They'll go in and steal what items they can take, usually jewelry, electronics, and guns."

He said that investigators and fellow sheriffs are putting their information together and comparing descriptions of suspects' vehicles, as well as increasing patrols in areas that have been targeted.

But it's not just teamwork between law enforcement agencies, residents are also working together to watch out for their neighbors.

Strobel said, "We have some retired folks in our neighborhood that don't have regular day jobs, so they are looking out for the neighbors."

Sheriff Hughes says that residents should keep their eye out for vehicles and people that don't belong in the area.  He said, "Don't hesitate to call law enforcement if you see something that is out of place."

Authorities do have several leads in the case, and say when it comes to catching criminals, it's all about power in numbers.

Since most of those burglaries are happening while folks aren't home, authorities say it's important to make your home look like someone is there at all times.

Leave a light on or cars parked in the driveway, and if you're away for an extended period, get a neighbor to pick up your newspaper.