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Law warns residents about break-ins
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“They’re happening everywhere. Liberty County’s been having them. The city (Ludowici) has been having their share, and we’ve had a bunch,” said Long County Sheriff’s Department, Chief Investigator Ty Smith of a recent string of burglaries in the area. “They come up to the house, kick in the door and they’re in and out quick.”
According to Smith, between Nov. 2-8, there were eight break-ins in Long County and the detective thinks more are likely.
“People need to know that with the economy like it is, and then when you figure the holidays are coming, I hate to say it, but we’re probably going to be seeing more of these break-ins,” he said.
 Smith said most of the burglaries happen during the day when people are at work. He thinks a group of three people may be working together on the crimes.
“I believe that two or three people are going into a neighborhood, driving around, finding a house where it looks like no one is home. Then the driver drops off one or two, they kick in the door, grab what they can and they’re gone,” Smith said.
Recently stolen items include jewelry, video games, TVs, guns, tools, laptops, personnel checks and cash.
Smith said that although the thieves are usually bold enough to enter through a home’s front door, they’re still being careful and not leaving many clues.
“These guys are wearing gloves or socks on their hands to keep from leaving prints,” he said. “We’ve been dusting for them, but haven’t been able to pick any up.”
Smith’s partner, Investigator Nickey Anderson, said the department has made several recent arrests.
Four people were arrested for breaking into several residences at Oak Ridge Mobile Home Park on Oct. 13. The suspects, Charles Leonard Jr., Asotama Tasi, Brittany Henderson and Dominique Shantel Anderson, are all Liberty County residents.
Investigator Anderson said other areas in the county have been hit, including Crawford subdivision, Wiregrass subdivision, Burnt Pines Estates and Davenport Acres. He said the northeast part of the county has had several break-ins to homes and two churches.
Smith said people need to be aware of what is going on in their neighborhoods and watch out for thieves who claim to be solicitors.
“If someone sees someone in their neighborhood selling vacuum cleaners or gutters or anything like that, take their license plate down and call us so we can check them out,” he said.
The investigator added, “Anything that looks out of the ordinary in your area, call us so we can come out.”
The detectives said there are things people can do to protect themselves.
“A Neighborhood Watch is a good idea,” Smith said. “Get together with the other people in your area and help watch each other’s homes. Also, make sure you lock your doors and keep your home secure.”
Anderson encourages homeowners to install audio security systems.
“I been a detective for 13 years and I have never had property stolen from a house where they had an audible alarm go off,” he said. “The thieves don’t hang around when it goes off. A loud alarm is the best deterrent for keeping your home safe.”
For more safety tips or to report information about the burglary cases, call 545-2118.
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