Law enforcement investigating rash of burglaries
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA – Law enforcement is investigating a sudden rash of business and residential burglaries across the area.

At least five burglaries and four thefts of property at Sylacauga businesses have been reported to police since last Friday, along with at least three residential burglaries and three thefts. The Talladega County Sheriff’s Office also reported two residential burglaries in the Sylacauga area during that timeframe.

Oak Grove resident Anthony Jacks said his family was terrified when their home was burglarized Monday.

“It’s a scary thing to come home to and just a really weird feeling,” Jacks said. “You don’t expect type of thing to that to happen here. I’ve never been one to have an alarm or anything, but I will be taking every precaution from here on out.”

Jacks said burglars left all their jewelry and other valuables, but did take four hunting guns, an Xbox and his collection of B.B. Comer T-shirts.

“There is so much stuff it would have been easy to take that’s still here,” Jacks said.

Randomness seems to be a common denominator between these recent incidents. Sylacauga Police Capt. Kelley Johnson said the reports within the city appear largely unrelated and may have been carried out by two or more different groups.

“They seem sporadic, as far as we can tell,” Johnson said. “These people are getting in and out of places quickly and typically during the daytime hours when they know people are at work.”

The burglars are mainly going after electronics and cash, he said. Johnson said all evidence has been sent to forensics, and police are working hard to secure arrests in these cases.

“We have some people of interest,” he said.

Residential burglaries and thefts were reported on West Curtis Street, West Fourth Street, and South Norton, South Broadway and Main avenues. Also, the Sheriff’s Office responded to burglaries at Cane Creek in the Fayetteville area and Autumn Acres in Oak Grove, Sgt. Josh Tubbs said. No arrests have been made in those cases at this time, though Tubbs said they are following leads.

These events generally occurred between midday and 5 p.m. At one residence, more than $2,500 of electronics was stolen, including two computers, a TV, DVD players, a camcorder and an Xbox. Another home reported two TVs and a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson stolen valued at $2,300. At the Cane Creek residence, three shotguns, a rifle, a computer and a TV were stolen. Another report lists a $20 bottle of Nuvo liquor and $10 of Corona beer.

Businesses reporting burglaries or theft include Thrash’s Floors and More, Pete’s Feed and Seed, Broadway Florist, Nan’s Florist, Coosa Valley Wellness, Joel E. Cochran, DMD, Shop N Fill, Walmart and Dollar General.

Items stolen or damaged ranged from $100 cash to $500 damage to a glass door. In some of the stranger occurrences, Dollar General reported a $3 pack of pistachios and a pack of bacon stolen, and Thrash’s Floors reported damage to a vending machine. At Walmart, an individual was the victim and reported credit cards and drugs stolen. All of these events occurred during the evening or early morning hours when businesses were typically closed.

Police Chief Investigator Jason McNiell said there is usually no rhyme or reason to burglary outbreaks.

“You really never know when something is going to flare up,” he said. “We had a lot of burglaries at one point during the summer, and now it’s happening again, but there may be a period where we don’t have any. Thanks goodness we didn’t have any last night.”

To prevent a burglary of theft, Johnson said residents should install an alarm or surveillance system, watch out for neighbors and report any suspicious activity to police. He also said it is important to keep an updated list of the serial numbers and descriptions of any electronics or other valuables in the home. Doing so will increases the chances of recovering an item if it is stolen.

Any information on these or other crimes should be reported to Sylacauga police at 256-401-2464 or report anonymously at 256-249-5716. For incidents within the county, contact Tubbs at the Sheriff’s Office at 256-245-5121.

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© 2013