SAVANNAH, GA (February 9, 2011): Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are issuing an alert to the public and neighborhood watches after a sharp increase in thefts from yards and buildings.

The majority of these thefts involve air conditioning units, usually from vacant houses. Thirty-three have been reported stolen in the past eight days. Bicycle thefts also remain high, with 17 reported stolen in the past week. Stolen items range from lawn mowers to building supplies.

While police have recorded some success stopping suspicious vehicles, it is difficult for them to determine who does not belong in a neighborhood. Some thieves, police fear, may be mistaken for repairmen.

“This is where we need help from the public,” said Police Chief Willie Lovett. “Neighbors are more aware of who belongs in neighborhoods. And, they know when houses are vacant and vulnerable.”

Police are asking the public to be aware of any vehicle, particularly at vacant houses and buildings. Many times the vehicles are backed into the driveways. Most thefts are reported during daylight hours when repairmen may be working.

Anyone with any suspicions should call the police non-emergency number at 652-6500 immediately. A description of the vehicle is helpful and license plate numbers are important.

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