Growth in Grovetown linked to property crimes

GROVETOWN, Ga. (WJBF) - Local law enforcement reports seeing more break-ins and thefts in one part of Columbia County.  The property crimes are linked to the increase in population.  The City of Grovetown has been growing for many years and Investigator Jason Reeves told NewsChannel 6 a lot of the property crimes are crimes of opportunity.  

The surge in Grovetown's property crimes hit Wendy Shumans' block in Northrop Place.

"It's just, it's not the greatest neighborhood," she told us.

Shumans said it all started about a month ago. 

"There's been damage done to my vehicle. My home has been vandalized," she explained adding that someone also tampered with the hood of her car and tried to disable it.

The neighborhood is just one of many throughout Grovetown seeing a spike in home and car burglaries and theft. 

Inv. Reeves, who has been working for the Department of Public Safety for the past eight years, said the increase is not in just one part of town. 

"In the past three to four years we've had an upgrade in property crimes," he explained.  "They've been kind of coming in a lot more than they have in the past."

Investigator Jason Reeves told us property crimes went down between 2013 and 2015. After that, they began to rise with 215 burglaries and thefts reported in 2016, 359 reported last year and 175 reported this year so far putting Grovetown on track for the same amount as last year or more.

2013: 305
2014: 207
2015: 198
2016: 215
2017: 359
2018: 175
But he said the reports are directly related to the city's growth and forgetfulness. 

He added, "We have a lot of instances where people are leaving vehicles unlocked where you have suspects that can just come by.  They're looking for a crime of opportunity. Where they can just pull the door and the door opens and they take what they want to take."


Photojournalist: Gary Hipps


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