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Police make headway in burglary investigations
Announcement will be held at 11 a.m. today
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Gainesville Police Chief Frank Hooper will hold a news conference this morning to release information about a recent string of burglaries in the city.

On Thursday morning, Hooper told the City Council that police investigators have arrested a suspect and recovered some of the property that was reportedly stolen in the areas of Ridgewood Drive and North Avenue.

Police officials said little more Thursday about the investigation, stating that the investigation into the burglaries was not complete.

“Right now the investigation is still ongoing, and we’re trying to tie up some loose ends before we do anything that may compromise our investigation,” said Deputy Chief Jane Nichols.

The news conference will be held at 11 a.m. today at Gainesville police headquarters.

The news of the arrest calmed council members who came to Thursday’s meeting prepared to ask Hooper about recent burglaries in the area.

“People are really concerned all over town,” Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Bruner said.

Hooper attributes this year’s spike in burglaries to the recession.

In Gainesville, residential and business burglaries in the first eight months of 2009 were up 24 percent from the same period last year, a total of 211 through Aug. 31. Rates for other types of crime are down, Hooper said.

“Folks are getting a little more desperate than they were,” Hooper said.

Times reporter Stephen Gurr contributed to this report.

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