Crime Watch: Break-ins increase in Bibb City - WRBL

Crime Watch: Break-ins increase in Bibb City

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Bibb City has been under revitalization efforts for years, building community gardens and refurbishing the Comer auditorium, but some residents haven't felt safe in their own homes recently.

The historic community has an active neighborhood watch and police officers who frequent the area, but there are some problems enforcers have been having a hard time putting a stop to.

"Over the last couple days we've had a lot of auto break-ins, and it's gotten to the point that you don't even feel safe to be in your own home or to leave your own home or automobile unattended," says Bibb City resident Carrie Farr.

Farr has lived in Bibb City for six years and loves her neighborhood. Now, however, she's afraid to even walk her dog around the block because of the recent burglaries. Just one month ago her own home was broken into. The thieves took all her electronics and police have been unable to recover anything. Now she's taking safety precautions to lock down her house.

Neighborhood association president Rick McKnight says they work hard to keep Bibb City safe. "We watch out for each other," he says. "Our slogan is, 'we call 911.' We have a great relationship with the sheriff's department and Columbus Police Department, and in fact over the last three years, crime has decreased in Bibb City in the categories that the police track."

Farr says the neighborhood wasn't always unsafe. About six months ago the break-ins began, and other residents agree that a few households on the block are attracting some unsavory characters. "This is a nice community, we all like to look out for each other, but unfortunately the police nor the neighbors can be there at all times," she says. "I know there's crime everywhere, but it's hit a spike over here."

She says the problem started when people moved into some abandoned houses. While vagrancy is one of the things neighborhood watchers look for, it's difficult for police to enforce.

For now the community is on high alert to protect each other from thieves. "It keeps down mischief makers," says McKnight. "We can't afford to hire policemen to be running through the neighborhood, but we make this like an old-fashioned neighborhood."

Police say unless they have probable cause or evidence they can't go busting down doors in the neighborhood. They encourage anyone who sees suspicious activity to report it immediately.\

Farr says if things don't change soon she'll be forced to move, a decision she's not eager to make.

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