Sheriff says Fayette remains relatively safe

Sheriff Barry Babb told the Fayette County Republican Party that Fayette still is one of the safer counties on the south side of Atlanta, despite an uptick in entering autos.

Babb’s remarks were at the monthly Republican breakfast, which were then uploaded to YouTube.

In 2018, the county had 531 Part 1 crimes. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics website, the UCR Program collects statistics on the number of offenses known to law enforcement. In the traditional Summary Reporting System (SRS), there are eight crimes, or Part 1 offenses, murder and non-negligent homicide, rape (legacy & revised), robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and arson.

“Over 93 percent of our crimes are property related,” he said.

Babb said adjoining Coweta County had 1,700 Part 1 crimes, while the city of Newnan had 1,200.

“I always hear about people moving to Coweta because it’s safer, but you are statistically more like to be the victim of a crime in Coweta,” he said.

The biggest increase in crime in Fayette County is entering auto, which increased by 123 percent.

Babb also said he likes Gov. Kemp’s focus on gang activity, because many time gang members are the ones committing the crimes.

“Nobody is immune from gangs,” he said.

The sheriff also said burglaries are way down from the 1990s, because the price of technology has dropped.

“I think my first VCR was $800. Think about what’s in your house now that could generate a lot of money,” he said.

The most common item stolen in homes is gold jewelry, which is easy to get cash for, he explained. In cars, the criminals are looking for guns, especially cars that may have hunting or fishing decals on them.

Another recent scam is “ sliders.” This occurs when a criminal slides into your car while you are pumping gas. Fayette County has had one incident since 2017, but Babb urged residents to remain vigilant.

“Be careful about where you are. Lock your keys and take them with you,” he said.

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