At last Thursday’s Graham City Council meeting, Police Chief Tony Widner reported that the number of burglaries to businesses within the city have significantly dropped since the beginning of 2014.

“From Jan. 1 to the present date, we had one burglary on Jan. 2,” Widner said. “It was at a storage space on the 400 block of Grove Street, and Jim Reeves happened to catch the people in the act.”

Prior to that, from August 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 the City of Graham investigated 30 Burglaries of Businesses. The police chief said that while tactical shifts in approaches made by law enforcement have helped diminish the problem, it is a concerted effort from three different sectors that has really made the difference.

“I think that working with the court system has really helped make the difference, as has overall community involvement,” Widner said. “And we still have that criminal element in the community, but I think that they’re scared right now.”

District Attorney for the 90th District Dee Peavy agrees with Widner’s assessment.

“It’s definitely a cooperation of efforts,” Peavy said regarding the decrease in burglaries for 2014. “When everybody is communicating and we have this common goal and are on the same page, it makes it more effective. From the court side of things, we’re looking to charge these criminals with the highest level of offense possible, have higher bonds set in these cases and get more prosecutions overall.”

Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.