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Posted: November 29, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Crime Suppression Unit out in force

By Brittany Thomas/

On patrol: Thefts and other crimes against property are on the rise at this time of year, but the CSU is on the scene to keep your neighborhood safe.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Suppression Unit will be out in force this holiday season to do everything they can to ensure that residents of the county have a safe holiday season.

The Crime Suppression Unit focuses on solving problems in neighborhoods that normally have a larger volume of calls for service or where the time it takes to resolve a situation is long.

The CSU works under the direction of the Criminal Investigations Division Commander and is made up of a group of deputies whose primary responsibility is to work a certain type of crime — crimes such as narcotics, robberies, thefts and burglaries — as well as working to improve the quality of life for the residents in each and every neighborhood.

This time of year crimes against property are higher and thefts are at a high. There are certain measures citizens can take to keep themselves and their property safe. When it comes to vehicles, the NCSO is noticing a trend in automobile break-ins, according to Public Information Officer Lt. Tyrone Oliver. He urges drivers not to leave their doors unlocked and to make sure valuables are hidden from plain sight. A criminal may walk past a car and notice a purse in the front seat prompting a break-in that may have been avoided otherwise.

Oliver also cautions shoppers to be aware of their surroundings and of people who may be paying too close attention to their movements. If someone appears to be watching you, walk away and don’t place bags of recently purchased gifts inside of vehicles. Contact authorities or leave the area and park elsewhere.

Another tip to keep from having a home burglarized is to be mindful of what you put out with the trash. Boxes that contained a new television or game system are a clue to would-be thieves that there may be something worth stealing inside a home.

"Either break the boxes down and take them to a recycling center or put them in black trash bags before setting them out at the curb," said Oliver. "

Neighbors are also asked to be vigilant and to call 911 if they see strange people or cars in their neighborhoods or if they see or hear anything they feel is odd. There will be unmarked cars out working in neighborhoods to try to keep break-ins from happening, but the CSU needs residents to help watch out for anything that may appear out of the ordinary.

"We would rather come out and investigate 50 calls where there was nothing wrong than have to work one burglary where people who work hard for their things lose them."

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