COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE


2273 County Camp Road, P. O. Box 3110
Appling, Georgia 30802
Office: (706) 541-2856
Dispatch: (706) 541-2806

The House Watch Program was set up over 10 years ago to help protect the homes of people who are going to be gone for an extended period of time. This free Service was designed to allow people living in Columbia County to have peace of mind while on vacation or away. In order to be placed on the House Watch program, contact Columbia County Sheriff's Office dispatch at (706) 541-2800 at least 24 hours prior to departure. You will be asked a series of question including, but not limited to:

  • Home Phone Number
  • Address
  • Emergency Telephone Number
  • If you have an Alarm Company and who
  • If you have any pets
  • Are there going to be any lights on
  • Any vehicles in the driveway
  • Is there anyone Authorized to be there
  • A contact number for a person with a key
  • An Emergency Contact Number
  • Leaving Time and Date
  • Returning Time and Date 

Once the information is entered into the system, our deputies will check on the houses periodically during the day and night. If you find that you will be away longer than expected, call dispatch and tell them about the change and they will be happy to adjust the times.

Jones Creek Neighborhood Watch
Block Captains

John McLeod, Captain
706-650-7687

Vehicle Theft Prevention


Securing Your Vehicle - Be Alert!

  • Lock your car! Take your keys with you.
  • Never hide a spare key on the vehicle.
  • Roll up windows completely.
  • Remove keys from ignition.
  • Park in well-lighted areas.
  • When parking in attended lots or parking garages, leave only the ignition key with the attendant.
  • Park as close as possible to an open business.
  • Do not leave valuables in sight to tempt a thief. Most auto burglaries are caused by cellular phones, laptops, or other valuables left in plain sight.
  • Always park with the wheels turned toward the curb.
  • Back your car into the driveway. If you drive forward into the driveway, a car thief could raise the hood to hot wire the car, and it would appear to the neighbors that you were just working on the car.
  • If you have a garage, use it.
  • Lock your garage door.
  • When going out of town, if possible, remove the distributor cap or the coil wire.
  • NEVER leave your car running while it is unattended.

If Your Car Is Stolen...
Call the Sheriff's Station. Vehicle theft should be reported as soon as possible. However, before the vehicle can be listed as stolen, you must have your vehicle's license number and/or the vehicle identification number (also called the VIN number).

Stolen vehicles are sometimes used in the commission of other crimes. Quick action often results in recovery of your vehicle as well s prevention of another crime. If the criminal is apprehended, be willing to file charges and testify in court.

If you recover your own vehicle, you must not touch or move your vehicle in order to preserve possible evidence. You should call 911 immediately to report the recovery. If you do not follow these steps, your car will continue to be listed as stolen and you may be pulled over at gunpoint, because the deputies or police officers with assume you are the car thief!

When Selling And Buying A Car
Be cautious of the low priced bargain car.
Beware of fast sell pressures.
Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if it has been altered.
Be suspicious of fresh paint on a car.
Verify that the registration sticker and the license tag are current and are from the same state.
Do not accept duplicate car keys.
Complete all paper work at the time of the sale.
If you are selling a car, never allow a person to test drive the vehicle alone.

Ask to see an interested buyer's drivers license, and write down the name, address, driver's license number, etc.

Make certain the driver's door contains a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Label. This label is often called a Mylar sticker, and it contains the Vehicle Identification Number. Presence of the label is required by law.

Anti-Theft Devices

They stop the amateur and slow down the professional.

Anti-theft devices are not foolproof, but they can stop the amateur and slow down the professional. The longer it takes to steal a car, the more attention the thief attracts, and the more likely the thief will look elsewhere. Anti-theft devices include those listed below.

LOJACK: This is vehicle tracking device that when activated allows the Sheriff Department or Police to track your stolen vehicle and recover it, often within hours. It can be purchased from many new car dealerships or after market directly from LOJACK of California.

Kill Switch: The car will not start unless a hidden switch is activated. The switch prevents electrical current from reaching the coil or carburetor. Please check your warranty before installing one of these switches. Some warranties prohibit installation of these devices, and doing so will nullify the warranty. In such cases, there is a possibility that a STARTER BYPASS SWITCH could be used without affecting the warranty.

Alarm Systems: These systems contain a device that will activate a siren, lights, or horn if the car is tampered with. Consider a backup power source for the alarm, as professionals could deactivate the alarm if they get to the power source. Keys or code numbers to the alarm should never be given to parking lot attendants or valets. (Do not try to fool a thief with an alarm decal when no alarm exists.)

Fuel Switch: This device stops the fuel supply.

Armored Collar ("The Club"): This equipment consists of a metal shield that locks around the steering column and covers the ignition, the starter rods, and the steering wheel interlock rod.

Locking Gas Cap

Crook Lock: This lock is a long metal bar that has a hook on each end to lock the steering wheel to the brake pedal.

Chain and Lock: These devices should be used to secure motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles.

Keyless Entry System
Anti-theft devices may cost a few dollars to several hundred dollars. Many of these devices are now standard or optional equipment offered by auto manufacturers.