by: Tom Jones Updated:
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Police in one community are using heavy machinery normally used for SWAT situations to deal with a spate of burglaries and home invasions.
Fulton County police are patrolling the streets near Estonian Drive in an armored vehicle that looks like something you'd see during war, said south Fulton County resident John Hunter.
"It's a bit much. It's not Afghanistan," Hunter said.
Officers said the equipment is essential in their war on crime.
"It's all in an effort to try to curb all of the crime that's going on," Fulton County police Det. Melissa Parker said.
It was last week when a woman was shot multiple times after two invaders broke into her home on Estonian Drive.
Police tried to stop the burglars as they drove away in a stolen car just after midnight, but they jumped out and ran into some woods and got away.
Officers said the Bearcat, as it's named, is equipped with thermal imaging to help them see in the dark.
"In the event we get into another foot pursuit with these suspects the probability of us catching them is greatly increased,” Fulton County police Capt. Wade Yates said.
The armored vehicle is also meant to reassure residents, letting them know some heavy artillery is at their disposal.
Police are also having officers work longer shifts and they're pulling officers out of the office to patrol to get more presence on the streets.
"We have had a police presence that has come around in the last week and a half," Hunter said.
Police hope the increased presence and the armored vehicle will let criminals know they mean business.
"If it's something to where it's going to make the people that live here feel a little (safer) like things are OK then why not?," Hunter explained.
Police said they are being secretive about the armored vehicle for security reasons.
As for the home invasion, officers said they have some leads and investigators are hard at work tracking those leads down.