News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, March 28, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Dozens of Richmond County deputies were stopping cars and going door to door to stop a string of break-ins on Thursday.
"Jewelry is really the targeted items of preference in this area," said Maj. Scott Peebles of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.
And by this area, Peebles means 1,500 or so homes off West Wheeler Parkway.
"The worst thing was feeling violated. You know, like somebody had been in your home. Especially with just me and my little boy here, it's really nerve racking," said Jaimie Pate, one of the victims of those break-ins.
Four months ago, someone stole more than just her grandmother's jewelry -- the crook took her sense of security, too.
"We called the cops and they came and over and told us that they think it's starting to become a trend around here," Pate said.
Authorities say there have been about 100 break-ins in this area in the last 15 months.
That's why about 60 deputies came together to canvass the entire area -- handing out fliers, going door to door -- trying to raise awareness and trying to catch a break in all these break-ins.
"We have found some of the stolen items, but we haven't been successful in actually tracing those back to people," Peebles said.
Deputies are using all types of means to try and find information on these burglaries, such as a checkpoint where they stopped cars as they went in and out of the complex.
"We're offering at $2,000 reward for anybody that has information that leads to an arrest," Peebles said. "We hope somebody will call us and provide that information."
This push to crack down on these burglaries means a lot to folks like Pate.
"I'm nervous to go and bring the trash out at night after I get home from work, just because I don't know who's behind the buildings," Pate said.
Now, she's just grateful others in her neighborhood will be on alert.
"I love that they're out here passing out fliers, just to let people who didn't know, so they can protect themselves," she said.