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RCSO enjoys lower crime during Masters week

News 12 at 6 O'Clock, April 7, 2010

AUGUSTA -- They're out there. Dozens of Richmond County sheriff's deputies direct traffic and keep order during a hectic time around Augusta National.

"Usually a dull, boring kind of week," said Lt. Jimmy Young. "A lull before the storm, sometimes, it gives you a chance to get caught up and catch your breath."

Young isn't talking about the Masters Tournament. He means overall crime, which he says decreases annually during Masters Week.

"The makeup of the city just changes Masters Week, and on the west side of the county where all the tournament action is going on, there's just a heavier police presence," he said.

From March 29-31, Monday through Wednesday last week, there were 295 arrests. This week, also Monday through Wednesday, there were 187 arrests--over 100 fewer. That's despite the fact that thousands more people are concentrated in one area.

Burglaries and other thefts have dropped. But so have violent crimes, like assault.

Then there's soliciting business from the roadway. 46-year-old William Assel, Jr. of New York was charged with it on Washington Road. RCSO says he likely was selling or buying tickets. He posted bond and has been released.

And though the calls and the crimes have slowed down for investigators, they expect there won't be much of a break.

Said Young: "Next week it will go right back to normal."


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