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Rash of burglaries hit downtown
Police investigating three break-ins in past week
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    After a rash of recent break-ins in downtown Statesboro, business owners are left wondering whether there is anything to be done to prevent business burglaries.
    Someone threw a brick through the glass at On Time Fashions on North Main Street last week, then snatched a cash register and money.  At Quik-Connect Wireless on South Main Street, offenders broke in through a door and did the same. And at Red Light Tobacco on Mulberry Street, it was the same story — break in, grab the cash, and run.
    Police are investigating these break-ins, said Statesboro Police Capt. Scott Brunson.
    The recent run of burglaries follow others of a similar nature months ago: someone broke into the Bulloch County Courthouse twice and the Bulloch County Annex.  Other area businesses on or near Statesboro's downtown area have reported burglaries.
    Can they be prevented?
    On Time Fashions manager Maria Columbus says she doesn't think so. "The economy is bad, and people (desperate for money) will get it through any means necessary." Neighborhood watches and extra policing may help, but Columbus said she feels if someone sees an opportunity and they are inclined towards crime, they will act.
    Ronnie Pope, who owns RJ Pope Menswear on South Main Street, said after a rash of burglaries in his store about 15 years ago, he installed bulletproof glass in the back doors, an alarm system that contacts police immediately, and has signs posted warning about video surveillance.
    But he agrees with Columbus that any measures taken don't "keep people from doing it."
    He said "I don't know how you could prevent (break-ins.) We're living in the environment of the times ... if they're going to do it, they're going to do it."
    He said extra policing would be nice, but "they can't stay (downtown) all the time. They do what they can do."
    Brunson said the recent burglaries are not the result of careless business owners. The offenders are breaking into the places by smashing windows or breaking doors. Other than alarms, police patrols, and the measures that are being taken, "there's not a whole lot you can do," he said.
    Making sure every precaution is take is a good idea, and not leaving cash on the premises if possible can help reduce loss, he said.
    Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to contact the Statesboro Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division at 764-1542.

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