Commercial burglaries on the rise in Chatham County

BySean Evans|March 2, 2021 at 5:53 AM EST - Updated March 2 at 6:31 AM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah Police want business owners to be on alert.

Commercial burglaries are up in the city, according to the latest crime statistics. Several dozen stores have been targets for smash-and-grab thieves.

Police say burglars are looking for quick, easy cash, either to feed themselves or a drug habit.

Savannah Police Department Detective Odarie Gibbs says the south side of Savannah has been hit hard, particularly lately, with commercial burglaries.

Commercial burglaries are also up in the unincorporated areas of the county where Chatham County Police patrol, according to their latest stats.

Police recommend business owners lock up cash in a safe and invest in cameras and alarm systems to make themselves harder targets. They say when the thieves break-in, in most instances, they’re in and out fast looking for one thing.

“Mostly they’re smashing the doors, going in, going straight to the cash register and getting cash out of the cash register. And they ride out within a short period of time,” said Odarie Gibbs, SPD detective. “It’s just like maybe 90 seconds, literally. We’ve actually looked at the cameras, surveillance video, and we see it’s like 90 seconds. They’re getting in and they’re getting right out.”

Right now, Savannah Police are looking for 41-year-old Nathaniel Lewis. He’s wanted in connection with a burglary from late last month along the 100 block of Montgomery Street.

Detectives think Lewis might be linked to additional burglaries in the Savannah area too, so if you know where he is, call SPD’s anonymous tip line or CrimeStoppers.

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Photo: Getty Images

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