Why are these thieves allowed to continue to destroy and steal copper and aluminum wiring and air-conditioning units?
There is one simple and very unpleasant answer. Our district attorney and his staff have decided that the taxpayers are better served leaving property criminals on the street to continue stealing from homes, government buildings and churches.
The recent “plea bargain” for a felon who damaged 20 to 30 HVAC units on top of the old Wal-Mart building is the most glaring example. Caught red-handed in the act by a Griffin police officer, this person who “allegedly destroyed over $500,000,” received a five-year probated sentence.
Our law enforcement officers have so little respect for the district attorney that they refer to one of his assistant DAs as “No Jail Gail.”
DA Scott Ballard either needs to enforce the law vigorously and/or get a job as a social worker. Perhaps when a homeowner, landlord, resident or police officer is killed in a metal-theft confrontation, he and his staff will understand how they are creating the dangerous perception that these thieves are above the law.
Officers tell me that they try and get their cases into State Court because with a well-prepared case, Judge Sid Esary will put the perpetrator in jail.
The question of the unscrupulous scrap dealers who are buying hundreds of pounds of scrap metal and HVAC parts is another story that the state Legislature should be addressing.
Statements have been made to concerned elected leaders and officers to the effect that, “We are saving the taxpayers money by not putting these people in jail.”
They just let the thieves out to keep on stealing.
DOUG HOLLBERG JR.