Albany Police Department Capt. Benita Childs talks about holiday safety during a news conference held Wednesday at the Law Enforcement Center.
ALBANY, Ga. — The Albany Police Department held a two-pronged news conference Wednesday at the Law Enforcement Center to discuss an uptick in metal thefts and the measures the public can
take to avoid becoming crime victims over the holidays.
APD Investigator Sgt. Edward Heath said James Franklin’s arrest Tuesday probably ended a recent string of metal thefts at ATTCO Transmission on West Broad Avenue and also could close the book on several over pending thefts.
“We’d had two or three incidents at the transmission place and one of our investigators was at AAA Recycling looking into it when Franklin showed up with some other stuff.”
Heath said Franklin’s arrest should make homeowners and businesses more aware of copper theft, when he said has been increasing in the area.
“We are urging businesses and homeowners to paint their copper with their initials or serial numbers,” Heath said. “Recycling centers don’t take many items that have paint on them. And thieves are not just taking the copper. It’s not unusual for them to take the whole AC unit.”
Heath then offers some safety tips for the holiday season.
- Buddy-buddy shop, don’t go alone;
- Do not carry large amounts of cash; realize people are watching you;
- Be careful when you lay down your purse or wallet;
- Do not leave items of value in plain sight in your vehicle;
- Lock your vehicle.
Capt. Benita Childs then talked about the department’s “Shock and Awe” campaign, which involves the buildup of police officers in high-risk areas throughout the city.
“We began the campaign on Nov. 26 and it is going very well,” Childs said. “We have gone to 12-hour shifts, put more officers on the streets and are on the lookout for robbers because this is the robbery season.
“While citizens are shopping, they need to know that criminals are also shopping — in stores and in homes.”
Childs advises people to break their normal patterns because criminals look for repetitive behavior as a means of finding an advantage.
“Think outside of the box,” Childs advised. “Change your habits and make it more difficult for the criminals.”
Childs added that it’s always smart to beware of strangers.
“Stranger danger is not just for kids,” she said. “Don’t give out any personal information to people who should not have it. If you have questions or are suspicious, call us, even if you have to do it 20 times.
“That’s what we are paid to do.”