HIXSON, TN (WRCB) -
A couple in Hixson is left with a huge mess after thieves broke in to their rental property doing thousands of dollars worth of damage. They say it was no simple job, as the entire house was stripped of all its wiring.
"They took all the wire they could get to," says Randy Herrin.
Randy Herrin recalls the moment he walked in his Delashmitt Road duplex over the weekend uncovering a trail of stolen items.
"I walked in and a large bed that we had stored inside was gone. And I thought, when I first looked at it, I thought I was going crazy. And I thought I had lost my mind," says Herrin.
All that is left of the bed is a single screw on the floor.
"It had to be completely disassembled to be removed from the place."
Randy and his wife were in the process of renovating one of the apartments for a new tenant. The other apartment was being used for storage.
Thieves broke into both sides of the duplex, punching holes in the ceiling, stripping several stored air units of copper. They took tools, ladders, furniture, and a washer and dryer.
In all they did about $25,000 in damages.
"As with any occurrence or situation like this were initially just absolutely shocked. And felt completely violated. And then we got angry," says Herrin.
"We pretty much pinned it down by the hour that they were here," says his wife, Celeste.
Celeste Herrin says a usage chart on the power bill revealed the burglary most likely happened on May 19 between 10 in the evening to 7:30 the next morning, when all power was cut.
"I would venture to say that they made more than one trip by multiple individuals."
The latest stats reported by the Chattanooga Police Department show burglaries in the city are declining, down 35 percent from May of last year and down 47 percent where the Herrin's duplex is.
Overall, burglaries are down 12 percent year to date.
Even so, the Herrin's are not pleased to be bucking the trend.
"I just want to see justice done. I just think they need to be punished for what they've done," says Celeste.
Celeste has taken to Facebook, posting the stolen items to see if they are being resold somewhere else.
The couple is offering a $500 reward for information that results in an arrest.
In the meantime, Chattanooga Police tell Channel 3 the department is in the very early stages of forming a 'Property Crimes Task Force,' putting more manpower toward solving crimes like this one.