Report: Crime hot spots affecting property value in Columbus

"One of the main questions we get asked is 'Is this house in a safe neighborhood?'."

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Brandon Shaw is the broker and owner of Crye-Leike Properties in Columbus.

He said crime affects a home’s value, regardless if the stats are available online or if it’s just through stories passed around by word of mouth.

Shaw named a couple of ways homeowners can retain some of their home’s value when looking to sell.

“Enhance security. Whether it’s adding security cameras, adding more lighting outside, or anything to enhance the curb appeal. Get involved in your community. Start a neighborhood watch program, so if a buyer comes in… you can say, ‘Look. We have a neighborhood watch program. It’s very nice. You know it reports crime and people look after you in this area,'” he said.

View Recent Photos 16According to the Columbus Police Department’s monthly reports from 2023, from January to November, more than $325,000 worth of property was stolen.

Only $9,500 of that stolen property was actually recovered.

And that was only during June and July of that year.

While that number may be high, it actually marks a decrease in the amount of stolen property from the previous year.

When Columbus Police Chief Joseph Daughtry took over the department in late 2022, the value of property stolen in that year was almost half a million dollars.

Councilman Stephen Jones said where there is opportunity; crime doesn’t lurk far behind.

“If they’re willing to take something, they’re going to take it no matter what,” Jones said.

Jones said property crimes aren’t going away, but people who live in Columbus can help minimize the chances of crime happening as often.

“It’s sort of like leaving your car door open. You know, if I leave my car door open at night time. No, they shouldn’t go in my car but I gave them the opportunity to do it. So we also have to have to be vigilant in what we do as homeowners,” he said.

And, if you want to get a straight scoop on what crime is like in an area, you can always go straight to the source of the stats.

“What I would suggest is the buyer calling the local police department. Calling the local sheriff’s department, saying ‘Hey look, I’m buying a house at 123 Main Street. What kind of crime rate is here?’ That way, they’re getting it straight from the police department and not an outside source,” Jones said.

Within the first three months of this year, a little over $100,000 of property was stolen in Columbus.

So far, CPD has recovered only $1,500 of that stolen property.

You can find the original monthly reports from the Columbus Police Department spanning back eight years, on the City of Columbus website.

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