An Altamont man was arrrested on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, after a series of events that led to Effingham Police uncovering burglaries from motor vehicles.

On Tuesday morning at approximately 7:48 A.M., Effingham Police Bureau of Patrol Officers responded to the 200th block of N. 1st to recover a wallet and other miscellaneous items which had been found in the area. Officers canvassed the area, and reviewed video surveillance footage which revealed a male subject enterting the area with the items, and leaving without the items. Javier R. Rodriguez Rich, 32, Altamont, was identified in the video by Officers who had contact with Rich at the Police Department the day before when Rich sought Police assistance.

At approximately 11:13 A.M., Officers observed Rich walking, and detained him to further the investigation. Rich admitted to enterting two unlocked vehicles in the 600th block of Market Street and the 600th block of E. Washington around 3:00 A.M., and stealing items from each. In addition to the recovered items located earlier, Officers also recovered some of the stolen property on Rich's person. Rich was taken into custody and booked into the Effingham County Jail on 2 counts of Burglary from a Motor Vehicle and 5 counts of Unlawful Possession of Another's Credit Card, all Felony charges. Rich is scheduled to make his first court appearance on September 27th where he will be formally charged and bond will be set.

Although Burglaries from Motor Vehicles have seen a sharp decrease since the reorganization of patrol tactics and scheduling (95 reports in 2016, 54 reports in 2017, and 29 reports in 2018 through September 25th), Chief Fuesting reminds citizens that it's important to use common sense and be vigilant. “Even though our Patrol Units have substantially increased their presence through dedicated patrolling in the past 21 months, residents still need to be aware of their surroundings, lock their vehicles and remove all valuables from sight when left unoccupied. Increased patrol units are a big part of the reason our statistics are lower for certain crimes; as we continue to partner together with the community, we hope to see these numbers continue to fall.”

If you see it, say it! The Effingham Police Department encourages you to call the police department immediately at 217-347-0774 to report suspicious activity in your neighborhood or business district. Information can be given anonymously by call the CRIMESTOPPERS Tip Line at 217-347-6583. anonymous callers can receive up to $1,000 cash rewards.