Just a couple of weeks ago in this space, we took note of recent crime statistics in Columbia County that showed an alarming increase in burglaries.
While the overall crime rate fell sharply last year, burglaries jumped an alarming 52.3 percent. Thats the sort of statistic that takes a pretty tough toll on the community. But to make matters worse, barely 12 percent of last years burglary cases were ever solved with an arrest. Those numbers make it sound as if Columbia County has set out the welcome mat for burglars.
If so, at least a couple of them just wore out their welcome.
In response to the rise in burglaries, the Columbia County Sheriffs Office increased patrols in Martinez and Evans - the areas that lately had been hardest hit. It didnt take long for the effort to pay off: Deputies caught two men poking around in a Martinez apartment complex last Sunday, and their trail led investigators to a huge cache of stolen electronics.
Most of the stuff was audio equipment stolen in a rash of recent car break-ins. The duo has since been connected to more than a dozen auto burglaries in Columbia County, and Richmond County officials want to take a look at them, too, as suspects in thefts across the county line.
The more than $10,000 in audio equipment was quite a haul for the pair of crooks - and their arrest is quite a haul for Columbia County investigators. While its just the tip of the iceberg, the successful operation signals that the sheriffs office isnt willing to allow criminals to feel welcome for long.
Good job, officers - and keep up the hard work.
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