From the desk of Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton:
Property crimes such as thefts, burglary, stolen vehicles, etc., are increasing in many areas of the country. It can be very frightening to return to your home or business after being away to find that your property has been entered and your personal items stolen or damaged. You can help protect yourself and aid your Sheriff’s Office in finding the criminals and recovering your property if you follow these practices for safety and security recommended by the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association:
• When you return to your home or business, always do a quick visual inspection for signs of forced entry. These signs may include broken windows, removal of screens, doors kicked in, or locks damaged. If you see signs of forced entry, do not enter. It is important that you stay outside of the building. Call 9-1-1 immediately, but try to do so from a safe location, such as a neighbor’s house or your own vehicle. If necessary, leave and drive to a safe location.
• Do not enter the building without law enforcement. When they arrive, advise them of any weapons, animals, alarms, or dangerous conditions in the building. They will let you know when it is safe to re-enter your home or business. When they do, don’t touch anything without first asking. Try to do a walk-through with the deputy to advise of any stolen or damaged items.
• If you enter your home or business before noting signs of a burglary, leave immediately and call 9-1-1.
• If you return to your vehicle and see signs of damage, entry, or theft, call 9-1-1 immediately, and do not touch anything.
You can help your Sheriff’s Office recover your property by providing as much information as possible on any stolen items, such as complete descriptions, make, model, color, or any serial numbers or identifying marks. It is often helpful to also make a video or photo journal of valuable items and provide it to the deputy in charge of your case. Ask your insurance company if they recommend inscribing identifying marks on electronics or other valuable items, such as lawn equipment.
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