Athens, GA – Fewer people came home from Spring Break to a burglarized home in Athens this year. That means Spring Break burglaries are down again, consistent with a downward trend since 2009. Lt. Mike McKeel who covers the Athens eastside is happy about that. His motto: “one burglary is too many.”
In 2009, burglaries were on the rise with 42 over the Spring Break holiday. Athens Clarke County Police decided to take matters into their own hands to bring down that number. They split the county virtually into two parts: the eastside and westside. Now they are double the officers patrolling each area than before. That explains the decline since then. In 2010 there were 30, in 2011 – 14, in 2012 – 22, last year – 21, and this year to just 15. Lt. McKeel says that is a “big difference” and he is happy their plan worked. He expects the numbers to keep declining.
You can join forces with the police to prevent burglaries in your home. Lt. McKeel says that it is always better to give the “impression that somebody’s at home.” He also has a few tips for homeowners:
– Record serial numbers of electronics so you can get them back if they are ever found
– Check your windows to make sure they’re locked
– Get a neighbor to watch your house
Other advice from a real estate office says to keep a car in the driveway and use timers on your lights to make it look like someone is home. For the best security, she advises to get a home security system if you can.
Another way for you to protect your home is to call your local police department and ask for a house check when you’re away. They will check your home every day, says Lt. McKeel, “to make sure everything’s there.” He also has his own form of protection: his dog. Whatever works for you, Lt. McKeel says use common sense when leaving your house unattended.
Alexa Knowles, reporting.