Yard thefts on the rise in Savannah

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - There is one crime that is truly plaguing virtually every corner of Savannah, yard thefts.

There have been more than 2,300 yard thefts this year. One man has simply had enough and is now offering a reward to get his stuff back.

Putting up motion detector lights and installing a new security system isn't exactly how Steve Anderson wanted to spend his afternoon. But he says it's something that must be done.

"About a week and a half ago, I had a theft occur here. They took a bunch of tools, air compressors rods and reels. Anything that was portable was stolen," said Anderson.

The items were stolen from the outdoor shed connected to his house on Wilmington Island.

"Anything they could grab and go with," said Anderson.

Anderson did file a police report, but he's also taking matters into his own hands, putting out a sign offering a $500 reward for his stuff back or an arrest.

"I know it's a long shot. I would rather get my stuff back and not have to go through the insurance process," said Anderson.

Police say Anderson unfortunately isn't alone. Last week there were eight yard thefts on the islands alone and this week it is up to 14.

WTOC spoke with Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department Public Information Officer Gena Moore, who says it's not just the islands that have yard thefts. They are a problem all over Savannah.

"Our biggest issue is accessibility. People are at home or work. You get neighbors that see something, they don't think it's suspicious and they don't call. You have things that are accessible like leaf blowers and tools. They are getting stolen," said Moore.

Police say the stolen objects are being sold for cash.

"There is a big mark up on metal right now, so that's an easy way to get rid of this stuff and make money on it . The tools, people can pawn them," said Moore.

Anderson is preparing just in case the thieves decide to come back. He is hoping police or this reward will help get his property back.

Anderson told WTOC that in the past week since he's had the sign up, at least a dozen people have called saying they've also had stuff taken from their shed or yard.

If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call police.

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