The Stephens County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to be on the lookout following an increase in burglaries recently.
Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley said that during the last several weeks, his office has seen an increase in burglaries and thefts from residences, mainly in the southern end of the county.
Shirley said that the burglaries appear to share similarities with each other and with burglaries in neighboring counties.
“The similarities were the way that they made entry into the home and the location of the residences also revealed similarities,” said Shirley.
The sheriff said his office is working with authorities in Habersham, Franklin, Hart, and Elbert counties on this investigation.
Meanwhile, Shirley reminded residents to make sure their homes are secure.
“When leaving home, make sure that the deadbolt lock is engaged,” said Shirley. “It is very difficult for an individual to kick open your door and that was a fact in all of these burglaries, so that makes it more difficult. It also makes it take a little longer for them to gain entry if they are able to force that door open, which means a neighbor may see or hear something. We also encourage people to make sure sliding glass doors are locked and that the windows are down and locked.”
He also encouraged people to make sure their valuables are as secure as possible within the home, adding that people should consider keeping valuables separated to make it harder for a potential burglar to find things.
Shirley also said people should keep an eye out for things out of the ordinary.
“We are asking if people see a strange vehicle in the area,” said Shirley. “We firmly believe they are casing these homes out and watching when people leave.”
The sheriff also encouraged neighborhoods to contact his office if interested in setting up a neighborhood watch program.
In the meantime, anyone with information on the burglaries should contact the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office or their local law enforcement agency.