Pattern found in break-ins

-A A +A
By Brent Schanding

Neighbors along Elk Creek Road, who organized a watch program in response to a string of sudden burglaries there, are again anxious after the Saturday break-in of an unoccupied house at 85 Green Acres Rd.

It mimics those of at least five other forced entries in the county since November, according to reports from the Spencer County Sheriff’s Department.

A combo of guns, medicine, jewelry, electronics and Christmas gifts were stolen when perpetrators reportedly kicked-in the doors of homes they believed were unattended. Garages and cars have also been targets of recent break-ins, according to crime reports.

“We’re trying to put a pattern together,” said Kyle Bennett, a deputy with the department.

No suspects have been named, Bennett said, but clues indicate as many as three people could be involved in each break-in.

Last month, a teen was reportedly startled when someone tried to kick-in the back door of his Fairground Road home. The intruders apparently fled when they realized the teen was home. Two other break-ins were also reported that day on Mt. Washington Road, according to the sheriff’s department. Reports indicate the doors of both homes were damaged in those acts.

“I don’t believe anyone’s in danger,” Bennett said. “In my opinion, they’re just plain old thugs and thieves.”

Still, Bennett said no house is safe –– even those with deadbolts and alarms –– and homeowners should react accordingly.

At least a dozen neighbors in the Elk Creek Road area forged a neighborhood watch program last month, after two separate break-ins involving a garage and a car resulted in the theft of tools and documents.

D.J. Fee, organizer of the group installed a home-monitoring system for added security and now sends regular emails to share safety tips with her neighbors.

It warns them to keep their doors locked at all times, and reminds them to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. Fee said wary neighbors should take note of the make and model of unknown vehicles –– or snap a digital photo of the car’s tags to aid investigators in the event of burglaries.

Signs broadcasting the neighborhood watch program will be posted in the area, Fee said, to hopefully deter would-be intruders.

“It seems to be working well,” she said of the extra security precautions.

Bennett said others should also safeguard their homes and goods by registering the serial numbers of valuable items. Jewelry, electronics and Christmas gifts should be stored out of plain sight from intruders.

Those with information about any of the cases are asked to call 477-3200.