24 suspects arrested during third Total Focus operation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Third Total Focus operation nets 24 arrests

Drug suspect whose children were on premises during undercover buy awaits transport (Source: SCMPD) Drug suspect whose children were on premises during undercover buy awaits transport (Source: SCMPD)
Central CSU Sgt. Sean Wilson briefs officers before 39th Street Drug Sweep (Source: SCMPD) Central CSU Sgt. Sean Wilson briefs officers before 39th Street Drug Sweep (Source: SCMPD)

In a continuing effort to lower crime, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police arrested 24 suspects this weekend during their third Total Focus operation this year.

More than 60 officers from SCMPD Patrol, Crime Suppression Units, K9, Aviation and SWAT, joined by officers from the Savannah Impact Program, Probation and Parole, Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Chatham County Sheriff's Office, conducted saturations of various areas.

The effort led to 11 felony arrests, 13 misdemeanor arrests, 61 field interviews, 123 traffic citations, 23 home visits to Savannah Impact Program clients, 56 Probation and Parole contacts, and 12 Department of Juvenile Justice curfew checks. Authorities also recovered two firearms, a stolen vehicle, items stolen in burglaries and drugs.

The operation evolved into street support for the downtown area on both nights due to unusual crowds associated with pre St. Patrick's Day Festival activities.

Police Chief Willie Lovett authorized Total Focus, which is a multi-pronged approach to controlling crime and building relationships with residents of the various neighborhoods that have been affected by crime.

The efforts are balanced by daytime visits to neighborhoods to greet residents, removal of tennis shoes from power lines, and building neighborhood watch groups.

"We'll keep doing this as long and as often as we can," Lovett said in a press release. "It uses a lot of resources but has a tremendous effect on crime in the area and establishing relationships with residents that helps them feel safer in their neighborhoods."

This weekend's operation was preceded by a smaller venture on the 200 block of West 39th Street. The 39th Street saturation was conducted by Central Precinct Crime Suppression Units supported by SWAT, K9, ATF, sheriff's deputies as well as weapons, juvenile and Crime Prevention officers.

Authorities followed up on the 39th Street operation after residents requested that SCMPD and City Hall address drug sales in the neighborhood. SWAT officers served a search warrant on a house in the neighborhood that yielded four felony and two misdemeanor drug possession arrests as well as the recovery of illegal drugs.

On Friday night, undercover officers located a stolen Chrysler 300 that was used to commit burglaries in the 2100 block of N. Fernwood Drive. Officers waited until a suspect approached the car and then chased him after he fled the area on foot. Canine officer Flash ended the pursuit.

Authorities found keys to the stolen car on the suspect. A second suspect was also found in the house that the first suspect left. The second suspect was charged with possession of marijuana. Police also found items stolen in recent burglaries in the car and in the residence of one of the suspects.

Authorities charged Larry D. Cope with theft by receiving stolen property (auto). Antonio Clark has been charged with being party to the crime of theft by receiving stolen property (auto). Police are continuing to investigate the theft and burglaries.

A saturation of the area around the West Lake Apartments in West Chatham precinct late Friday night led to the arrest of a suspect on possession of marijuana charges. The suspect resisted arrest and one of the officers was treated for an injury to his face.

On Saturday, Southside Precinct CSU officers recovered three television and a watch that were stolen in burglaries on Talina Circle. Officers also stopped a suspicious vehicle on the 1200 block of East 56th Street Saturday night. The driver was arrested for misdemeanor drug charges. Authorities found more than $1,700 in cash and equipment believed to have been used in the transportation of drugs in the back of the car.

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