Concerned island residents pack meeting about crime increase - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Concerned island residents pack meeting about crime increase

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Concerned island residents came out in droves to address the growing concern of home break-ins in an area known for its safety.

"We thought it would be a secure place. We like to travel and we wanted to know what we leave behind would be there and safe when we returned," said Whitemarsh resident Kat Robertson.

That sense of safety now in question after the uptick in crimes.

Compared to last year, there have been 66 more burglaries so far this year. Two of those took place Thursday. The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department's message to this crowd: if you see something suspicious, call the police.

"Calling a family member or a friend ahead of the police actually only gives that individual who has committed the crime more opportunity to get away," said SCMPD Assistant Chief Juliette Tolbert.

Thursday’s meeting showed a positive step in the fight against these crimes. These residents want that fight to land someone in jail soon.

"There's too much going on and the individuals here don't feel like we have enough protection as far as the police department is concerned," said Wilmington resident Barbara Hall.

They agree the fight must be a joint effort; several Facebook pages have been made in an effort to band together.

"We have to do our part. We can't just sit back on our hands and wait for them to do all the work," said Wilmington resident Ralph Maggioni.

"Short of that, we're not going to make a whole lot of headway so we need residents to participate and support our efforts," said Asst. Chief Tolbert.

Action is what community members in attendance seem committed to doing. Police said they are close to catching these suspects. So far, though, no arrests have been made.

Police also encouraged the island residents to let them know when they head out of town. Many of the break-ins happen between 9 a.m. and noon.

In many of the cases, the burglars knock on the door to offer lawn work then kick it in when no one answers.

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