Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Two nights of a "show of force operation netted significant results, highlighted by four felony arrests and recovery of two stolen weapons Thursday and Friday nights," police say.
Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police, bolstered by the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, Savannah-Chatham Counter Narcotics Team and Savannah Impact Program (SIP) officers, executed 32 total arrests, issued 143 citations and recovered two stolen weapons in “Operation Total Focus.”
On Thursday and Friday nights, SIP officers visited 64 residences of probationers to assure they were complying with all regulations, conducted 13 checks on sex offenders, assisted patrol officers with four assists, served one warrant and performed one drug screen. Officers also seized 17 grams of marijuana.
Three men were arrested after drawing attention of participants in the operation who watched the three convicted felons study two convenience stores before confronting them at a third. Officers found marijuana, gloves and a stolen firearm. Early Friday morning they arrested another man found with a stolen pistol.
“The idea of Total Focus is to prevent crime,” said Maj. Richard Zapal, commander of the operation. “We do this by finding those who have been charged with crimes and getting them off the streets and presenting a presence that would discourage illegal activity. In a sense, we are taking the enforcement to them rather than reacting to the crimes they may commit.
“We are fairly certain we interrupted several robberies in the planning stages Thursday night. That was a huge achievement. I have thanked and congratulated all participants in the operation.”
Robert Douglas Morgan, 29, of the 1300 block of East 34th Street, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, obstruction and theft by receiving. Lawrence Sheppard Jr., 41, of, the 600 block of West 31st Street, was charged with operating a vehicle without a license plate and possession of marijuana. And Joseph Maurice Hamilton Jr., 40, of a Berwick Lakes Boulevard address in Pooler, was charged with possession of marijuana.
Friday morning, Kareem Byrd entered a convenience store near Waters and Derenne avenues smelling of marijuana. Police found marijuana, drug-related objects and a stolen pistol in his vehicle. He was charged with traffic offenses, possession of marijuana, theft by receiving stolen property and possession of drug-related.