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Police aim to curb burglaries

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POSTED: August 18, 2007 5:04 a.m.
The number of burglaries in Hinesville has increased, and the police have centralized their efforts to curb the problem.
The Hinesville Police Department’s special unit — the Crime Suppression Unit — is currently working with patrolmen to apprehend the criminals behind these burglaries, Major Thomas Cribbs said.
Following a series of shootings and murders this past year, the unit was created to decrease any elevation in crime in any given area, he said.
When looking at a two-year time span from July of 2005 to June of 2007, there have been 660 burglaries, and the rate of these crimes have gone up 11 percent from one year to the next,  he said.
At the end of July 2006, there were 34 burglaries, and this year there were 42, representing a 23-percent increase, Cribbs said.
Burglars, who mostly steal electronics, jewelry and guns, are usually repeat offenders. A small number of them are usually responsible for a majority of burglaries in the area, Cribbs said. The more they continue to commit crime, the more likely the HPD is to arrest them.
Most of the time, burglars are heavy drug users who turn to crime to fulfill their addictions, Det. James Snider said.
“When looking at crime, drugs are far reaching,” Snider said. “People have to realize that there’s a corollary between drugs and criminal activity.”
To help reduce crimes like burglaries, Snider said it’s important for the residents of Hinesville and Liberty County to report any drug activity they see because it may help in getting multiple crime offenders off the street.
Snider said this upward trend in burglaries is more of a sporadic occurrence, but that they need to be suppressed to bring them back to average or below average numbers.
Besides burglaries, Cribbs said the HPD hasn’t seen an increase in serious, violent or gang related crimes like they have in the past.
“This summer has mirrored summers in the past, but we believe our level of violence has been down somewhat,” Cribbs said. “But that’s contingent upon whether or not things continue to stay relatively quiet throughout the rest of the summer.”
 

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