Jefferson Heights community target of thieves; neighbors install - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Jefferson Heights community target of thieves; neighbors install surveillance cameras

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Residents along one Southside street say they've been the targets of thieves. Nine of 12 homes have been hit. Now residents are taking things into their own hands, installing surveillance systems.

We're talking about a new development in the Southside community; neighbors have lived there less than a year, and say the theft spree started just after Christmas.

Neighbors in the Jefferson Heights Community say there's a common theme among the break ins happening on their street. “I had a bike stolen on Thursday, someone had one stolen on Friday night. It is like one hit every night, one if not more,” said homeowner Sam Marshall.

“Crowbar, screwdriver marks down our door and the door handle has been busted. Thankfully the deadbolt was still on track,” said another neighbor, Katie Mathews.

Neighbors say 9 out of the 12 homes on East 16th Street have reported property theft and damage to the police. They believe the thieves are targeting detached garages, taking everything from mountain bikes to AC units. “I think it is someone who plans it. They know what they are doing, know what they are getting and are reselling it. I am looking on Craigslist, and online bike swap meets, trying to find my bike,” said Marshall.

The break ins started around the holidays. The neighborhood's Google thread is filled with similar complaints , with neighbors sharing their stories. “You can look on our thread and see how many break ins that has happened literally within the last month, right around Christmas, every night someone gets hit.”

A quiet neighborhood now on edge as neighbors take things into their own hands, hoping newly installed home surveillance cameras will help catch the thieves. “Yea, especially with children we have a 12 year old daughter, she is a little frightened.”

“You see things like that happening to this degree and it threatens your security, and your safety and it is intimidating. We don't want to feel that way,” said Mathews.

The Chattanooga Police Department is aware of the reports of theft in the area and has added patrols. Anyone can be added to a watch list by requesting that their address be added to the patrol route. For information on how to join the list call (423) 698-2528.

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