News 12 at 11 o'clock, September 28, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---It may be a nice neighborhood, but people who live there are on alert after several burglaries, two carjackings, and a home invasion.
A total of eight different homes hit, all within a few hours.
Residents in Augusta's Aumond Place neighborhood say they fear the rash of crime may be gang related.
Augusta's Aumond Place neighborhood is a place many say is an ideal place to live and raise a family. But, that safety net was sliced wide open last Friday night (September 21).
"Never in the history of our neighborhood. I just can't understand it." says Terry Johnson, who has called Aumond Place home for more than 30 years.
The night of the crime spree, he was lucky, but others like Mary Louise Hagler were not. "Took a bicycle from my carport, my son's bike and rummaged through my car."
But that's not even close to the worst of it. Thieves broke into a home on Montpelier Drive while a woman and her daughter were asleep inside. Among the loot, two laptops and a 44 inch T.V. Investigators believe the crooks then stole two SUV's from two different neighbors to drive off with the stolen goods.
"That's got to be really scary for someone to be in your home while you're there." adds neighbor Skip Smith.
"That's the last stop for our neighborhood. That's how we feel. Entry into a home is it." says Hagler of the home invasion.
So garage doors are down, security signs out in full force, the neighborhood watch on full alert. As many homeowners try to figure out how to protect themselves, even more.
"I don't know what else we could do but hire a security guard." Johnson says.
Smith adds, "It's too much to believe but it can happen anywhere so we need to lock up and be safe."
Neighbors say they fear the crimes are gang related, since there were so many crimes in the same area within the same time period.
Richmond County investigators are working to solve these crimes which they say appear to be related. So far they've recovered one stolen SUV, it was found at an abandoned house about a mile away. But investigators are still looking for a stolen 2002 Gray Chevy Tahoe.
If you know where it is..or know who these criminals are.. call the sheriff's office at 706-821-1020