Opportunities for crime: Macon community fights blight

At least two blighted homes sit on Rosecrest Ave. in downtown Macon. One of them is where Jontavious Towns was killed in October 2017/Claudia Coco (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Blight is a widespread problem across Macon communities, and Bibb County sheriff David Davis says the problems don't end with the rundown buildings.

"There is a direct correlation between blighted conditions and some of the criminal incidents that we've had. Particularly some of the homicides and some of the violent incidents we have," said Davis.

According to Davis, blighted areas in Macon help create opportunities for crime.

"Not many people around they're magnets for nefarious actions and people who are up to no good," he said.

One blighted home on Rosecrest Ave. in downtown Macon is the site where Jontavious Towns was killed on October 31, 2017. His killing remains unsolved.

"If you live in a neighborhood where you have blighted conditions like this it creates a blighted mindset," Davis said.

Another blighted home on the same street has been completely burned through.

"There's evidence where it looks like someone stayed back in here," Davis said.

Still, the state of that home hasn't stopped people from going inside of it.

"Somebody's had a little bed roll camp in there," Davis said.

The sheriff added that through government and the blight bond initiative, the community is taking steps towards making changes - even tracking down homeowners.

"Relinquish them to the county or relinquish them in some way so they can be torn down, dealt with, redeveloped," Davis said.

Through the blight bond initiative, the Macon-Bibb government has acquired 162 blighted properties and demolished 130 blighted structures.

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