65 Chattanooga burglaries in 10 days; how people can protect the - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

65 Chattanooga burglaries in 10 days; how people can protect themselves

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - A Chattanooga woman came home from the grocery store to find her bedroom ransacked of all her jewelry gone.

Tammy Carmichael says the trip to run errands hardly took a half-hour, but by the time she came home, it was too late.

It might surprise people to hear burglaries like this pop up on average 30 times a week.

That includes everything from breaking into homes, cars or even storage units.

Carmichael says having to protect herself from this type of crime never even crossed her mind.

"You feel like you've been violated really," Carmichael said, "You know you're just gone for that length of time and somebody had a chance to get in your house."
   
It was around 1 o'clock one afternoon when Carmichael left her house to go get groceries.

"I went up to the store, wasn't gone 30-45 minutes."
   
When she came home, her bedroom had been ransacked and someone took thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.

"Somebody had just broke in and stole just the jewelry," said Carmichael.

Her case is one of 65 Chattanooga police responded to between April 1st and April 10th, and police say this time of year it's to be expected.

"We do notice an increase when we have spring break, when we have summer break," said Sgt. Rebecca Shelton of Property Crimes Division, "Because more juveniles now are committing crimes."
   
Sgt. Shelton says there isn't any obvious trends among the 65 cases, and the crime isn't specific to any one Chattanooga neighborhood.

"There's not more in East Brainerd than there is in North Chattanooga than there is in East Lake or Hyland Plaza or even in St. Elmo," Sgt. Shelton said, "It's just happening everywhere."
   
After the break-in Carmichael and her family installed an alarm system.

"It won't happen again I can tell you that," Carmichael said.
   
Carmichael says she's going to be at the next Homeowners Association meeting to see what more can be done.

"You have to really take care of your neighborhood," Carmichael said, "And it takes your neighbors and everybody, they need to work together on this."
   
Police say the best way to protect yourself is to know your neighbors.

Burglaries happen most during the day and if a neighbor is watching he or she could help crack the case.

"Keep a look out on the neighborhoods and make sure if they do see anything to call," Sgt. Shelton said, "And police officers get there then maybe we can catch them in the act."

According to police, 65 burglaries in 10 days is typical for a city this size.
   
CPD points to numbers that show break-ins actually decreased when compared to this time last year.
   
They also say small things like routine lawn care, and keeping your mail picked up can help detour a burglar.
 
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