Thefts in East Collegedale Spark $3,000 Reward Offer - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Thefts in East Collegedale Spark $3,000 Reward Offer

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Long gone are the days of leaving doors to your house or your car unlocked. Yes, even in Collegedale, it is Mayberry, no more.  A recent run of thefts in one area of the city has police asking you to be secure and vigilant.  

"The suspect seems to be looking for opportunities with people who've left their vehicles unlocked," said Collegedale Police Public Information Officer Tonya Sadler. Over the last month, investigators report a spike in thefts from vehicles: 7 cases, so far, with no property damage.

"They're taking anything that they could possibly pawn," Off. Sadler explained, "or that would have value on the street." Also, the incidents are centered in one locale. "Specifically in the east part of the city: the Homewood subdivision, Edgeman Road areas," she continued. "Everybody in these areas need to be watching out."

It is not a common happening here and one resident was so incensed, they are offering a $3,000 reward to help bring the spree to an end. "The person who's offering a reward was a victim of this," Sadler said, "and they decided, 'Hey, I want something to motivate our community to start watching. This is not going to happen in our neighborhood.'"

In the meantime, there are things residents of these neighborhoods and all of us can do. "We are urging everyone, at night, take your stuff in," Sadler instructed. "Take your purse and your iPad. Lock your doors. Let's not make it easy for them." If you have a visible GPS attached to your windshield, take it down. And the helpful tips are not all aimed at your automobile. "Close your garage doors, too," she added. "They'll come into your garage if it's left up at night they're going to take your weed-eaters."

Finally, it is time to make this a team effort. You do not have to be Gladys Kravitz, but do not be afraid to notice what is going on next door, especially if no one is at home. "Watch your neighbors yard," said Sadler. "If you see somebody you don't know pull up, call the police. We can come see who they are."  

Remember: $3,000 is on the table for good information that leads to an arrest and conviction. "Sometimes people look out the window, they see something, they're like, 'Oh, that's normal,' but, that might motivate people to call in and give us more leads to follow," said Sadler.

If you have any information about these crimes, call the Collegedale Police Department and ask to speak to Detective Bruce Cantrelle: 423-468-1873

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