MidTown Columbus residents concerned about string of break-ins - WRBL

MidTown Columbus residents concerned about string of break-ins

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Falkenberry shows a map of all the burglaries in the area this year Falkenberry shows a map of all the burglaries in the area this year
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

A group of MidTown Columbus residents gather on the front porch of an Owsley Avenue home most Sunday nights. They often talk about everything going on in their neighborhood. Most of the porch-talk lately has been about the recent home and car break-ins in the area.

Michelle Gagnon is one of these residents. She says her car has been broken into several times while she’s lived in the neighborhood.

“I think the most frustrating thing is having your personal space invaded,” says Gagnon. “If they're willing to come that close to your door to get into your vehicle, what else are they willing to do?”

The break-ins caused Meadows Falkenberry, the area's neighborhood watch administrator, to map the crimes to find certain trends. He says most of the burglaries this year have happened during the day.

“It's just really frustrating that you can't even leave for work or go on a vacation without your homes being invaded,” says Falkenberry.

Falkenberry says they're trying to limit the crime by being active on the area's neighborhood watch page on Facebook. He says being able to report suspicious activity and being aware of what's going on in the community allows folks to be better prepared.

“I wouldn't have heard of any of them had it not been for the page and I wouldn't take the precautions I take to secure my home if it wasn't for the page,” says Falkenberry.

2013 saw an increase in burglaries in Columbus. Earlier in the year, mayor Teresa Tomlinson told News 3 the police department busted several of the burglary rings and says they'll continue to enhance their community policing efforts to prevent these crimes. She says a new $2 million Intelligence Based Policing software going online later this year will help, and encourages residents to be active in neighborhood watch groups. Mayoral candidate Colin Martin also emphasizes community policing, saying in his public safety plan that the city has excellent law enforcement officers and citizens want to see them interacting in the neighborhoods.

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, focuses on how your tax dollars are being spent.
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