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Police expect spike in property crimes in Athens during spring break

Based on historical trends, Athens-Clarke County police anticipate an sharp increase in property crimes in the highlighted areas during spring break

By Joe Johnson

Students are not the only people who look forward to spring break. It is a time that is traditionally anticipated by criminals who take advantage of unoccupied homes and property left unsecured by owners who are out of town and enjoying their time away from classes.

That is why the Athens-Clarke County Police Department on Friday -- the last day of classes at the University of Georgia prior to the annual student hiatus—issued this advisory:

“With the assistance of our crime analysts, we have noted that historically there have been double-digit increases in these types of crimes over the spring break period.  These properties crimes are generally focused in areas with high UGA Student populations.”

Police released a “hotspot” map that highlights the areas expected to be hardest hit during spring break.

The police department suggested that students take the following steps that can help minimize or eliminate some of the risk: Be sure to lock all doors and windowsLeave lights on, or make use of smart lights and timers to give the appearance that someone is home

* Leave outdoor lights on;

* Hide valuables or take them with you;

*If you have an alarm system, make sure that it is armed;

* Utilize and monitor security cameras or smart doorbells, if present;

*Suspend Mail and Newspaper delivery, or have a neighbor collect it;

* Record serial numbers or take photos of them on high-value items and firearms

* Leave emergency contact information on your refrigerator, so that if you are a victim, the police can get in contact with you;

* Contact the ACCPD for house and area checks

* If you see suspicious persons or activity, contact ACCPD by calling 911 or (706) 613-3345.

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