AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Crime has no address… but a certain part of the Garden City is experiencing more illegal activity than others.
A dead body found on Holden Drive this past Sunday is prompting community members to get to the root of crime issues in the community.
NewsChannel 6 spoke with the landlord that owns the house next door to where the body was found and many of the other homes in the area. He said it hasn’t always had the criminal reputation it has today… Holden Drive is actually a neighborhood with a rich history.
“They were built in 1942 as barracks for the Air Force when they had a base up at Daniel Field. I think somewhere in the late’40s early ’50s they converted them to rental property,” Landlord Michael Thurman said.
Times have changed.
“Well when I first bought in 2008, there were a lot of boarded up houses, and you could see people walking up and down the streets dealing drugs,” Thurman explained.
Michael Thurman owns 70 percent of the property in this area of Augusta– just steps away from Paine College and Augusta University’s medical district
Commissioner William Fennoy said he lives ten minutes away and the past few years have been eventful.
“In the past couple of years in my neighborhood, I’ve experienced two or three homicides less than three minute walking distance from my house,” Fennoy told NewsChannel 6.
He believes people involved in the shootings don’t live in the neighborhood, though.
Tenant, Frederick Holmes, says he’s lived on Holden Drive for one year.
“The crime is bad. People have families out here and kids, and they want to wake up and see them the next day. That’s sad that they can’t. Only thing that can help around here is if the people in the neighborhood come together. I don’t think anything else can really change anything around here,” Holmes admitted.
Commissioner Fennoy and Landlord Thurman agree– to reduce crime the best weapon is knowledge and a solid sense of community.
“Find out who your neighbors are, communicate with your neighbors, speak to your neighbors. Let your neighbors know that you are concerned about them,” Fennoy recommended.
“That street has had a bad history, and what we have been trying to do for years is get the neighbors to work with each other, and together we can eradicate crime. I hope that this is a wake-up call for people to look out for each other because to my understanding, they haven’t even identified the body yet. That’s just terrible. Someone is missing a loved one, and they don’t know,” Thurman concluded.
Commissioner Fennoy said if you see something, say something. He urges the community not to be afraid to call law enforcement, but be fearful of what will happen if crime isn’t reported.