From the Decatur Police Department:
On 12-27-13 at approximately 9:35 p.m., a burglary was reported in the 400 block of South Columbia Drive. The homeowners heard a front window being broken out and then noticed the power was off inside of the house. A purse was taken from the table inside of the broken window. The power had been switched off from the exterior power box. The purse and some contents were recovered the following morning near a wooded area on Talley Street.
On 12-28-13 at approximately 3:20 p.m., a burglary was reported in the 300 block of South Columbia Drive. The homeowner noticed a rear door that is frequently left unlocked to be ajar and a jacket that should have been inside of the home on the ground outside. The homeowner then noticed an item had been moved in one of the bedrooms and credit cards were missing. The homeowner recalled going outside for a short period of time the previous evening at approximately 9:30 p.m. and was unsure when the burglary occurred.
Circumstances surrounding these two burglaries indicate the suspect was most probably on foot and checking for unsecured entry points as well as looking into windows to find items of value. Burglars will turn off the power from exterior power boxes in an attempt to circumvent alarm systems.
According to Georgia Power Customer Service, a homeowner can choose to place a lock on the exterior switch box. However, in the event of a fire the exterior power switch would need to be accessed to shut off power so locking the box is not recommended. The decision is up to the individual homeowner.
Other preventative measures homeowners can take are to make sure all doors and windows are locked, close blinds and curtains in the evening when you are in for the night, install and use motion activated lighting and if you have an alarm system, use it and make sure there is a cellular back-up in the event of a power outage.