In the last few weeks, several subdivisions have experienced burglaries: two that were notable involved neighbors spotting a stranger in the area or unusual activity, which they then reported to police.
In one case, Capt. Mike Johnson reported that, following the break-in, police canvassing the area learned from neighbors that a group of teenagers was seen walking along the street. Although unable to locate the group, the officers found a lone teenage boy in his own yard. He reported that he was not in school due to being under house arrest. When questioned why, he stated that he was charged with burglary.
The officers continued, asking where he had been for the last few hours and the teen reported having been at home. Not being willing to give up, the police asked if he’d had friends visiting. After he reeled off several names, law enforcement was able to find these friends, and discovered they fit the description made by the neighboring witnesses. More than nine cases were closed thanks to the excellent work of the Lilburn Police and willing witnesses who talked in detail about what they had seen.
Another case, a couple weeks ago, began with a neighbor noticing a stranger walking out of a neighbor’s house with a rifle. Thanks to his quick call to the police with a detailed description, officers on patrol were able to see the suspected intruder turning a corner, pursue and catch him after a chase through the woods.
A third case that is still pending involved a young man (18-22 years with light skin, wearing green shorts) approaching a side door and trying to kick the door in. Although the neighbor saw the intruder through a bedroom window, she did not call the police. She opened the upstairs window, caused enough noise to scare him away, but would not provide a report to the police.
Looking out for neighbors who are away or at work is a great way to build neighborly relations in a subdivision. It doesn’t require special training or equipment — just the willingness to look outside periodically and to call the police when something unusual is spotted. In most cases, the report can be made over the phone. Both Lilburn and Gwinnett police departments encourage reports of suspicious activity by residents and business owners.
To report suspicious activity in Gwinnett County and in Lilburn, dial 911. Lilburn Police consolidated their dispatch with the Gwinnett office, reducing response times significantly.