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Property crimes on decrease in Albany area

ALBANY, Ga. -- In his monthly report to city commissioners, Albany Police Chief John Proctor said property crimes continued a slow decrease through the end of August, a move he attributed to an increase in community involvement and a renewed focus by the department.

Property crimes, which include crimes such as burglary, theft and damage to property, were down in most of the city, Proctor said.

Proctor said after a spike in burglaries, the department formed a small unit of officers who were dedicated to the problem. He said he believes they achieved results.

Proctor also said the number of calls from homeowners and residents within the community had increased and the help from concerned citizens was welcomed.

"People are noticing their neighbors more; they're looking after one another and they're becoming less afraid to call in and we're trying to make sure that when they do call in, we respond as quickly as possible," Proctor said.

Property crimes did go up in the in northwest section of the city, mainly around the Albany Mall where Proctor said there has been an increase in shoplifting.

Violent crimes also increased for the month -- something Proctor largely attributed to domestic violence incidents.

Proctor warned the commission and the public that, historically, winter months tend to boost crime figures, especially around the Christmas holidays.