Chipley, FL- As the Washington County Sheriff's Office wraps up yet another property theft investigation, this time in Sunny Hills, Sheriff Bobby Haddock said the crime is nothing new nowadays.
"We're up, we're extremely up," said Haddock.
Three years ago, property crime as a whole in the county was at 167, then in 2010 it climbed to 229 and continued steady through last year.
Sheriff Haddock pointed to more than one cause.
"You can correlate that with the economy, the drugs. That's one of the reasons why we have to work the drug side of this so hard," said Haddock.
Haddock said the department also faces another hurdle with crooks who just don't learn the first time.
"Some have just gotten out of prison and are going back to their ways or people who have bonded out and are going back to their ways," said Haddock.
According to the sheriff's office, storage units and scrap metal are hot ticket items among thieves right now, but Haddock assured there are ways to easily protect you and your property.
"Someone or something is out of place, then give us a call. People don't realize that documentation of serialized items, photographing it, helps solve these things," said Haddock.
The sheriff's office also recently started a new way to report crimes in the area. You can anonymously text tips to 847-411 keyword "WCSO."