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String of home invasions and burglaries have people on guard

By Lyndsey Price, lprice@wcyb.com
Published On: Sep 26 2013 05:00:48 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 26 2013 01:56:15 PM CDT
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. -

Some people in Washington County, Tennessee are looking over their shoulders and warning neighbors after a recent string of home invasions and burglaries in just one week.

Many are taking precautions and are worried for their safety after having their homes broken into. "It’s a great community we live in here and you would've never thought this would even be an issue or a problem," says Tommy Stevens, a recent burglary victim.

"We can't even enjoy or feel safe at our own home now, they took that from us," adds Craig Stevens, Tommy's brother and another burglary victim.

The Stevens live just 200 feet from each other and both had their homes broken into this week. Shawn Judy with the Washington County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office tells us there have been as many as 10 home invasions and burglaries since last weekend. "They're coming in, getting stuff as quick as they can, and getting out," says Judy.

Judy tells us the burglaries are happening from Sulphur Springs to Fall Branch. He believes there are multiple people working together and they're breaking in during the day. "I feel like they've probably planned it out because they knew we weren’t going to be here," adds Tommy Stevens.   

Police say the suspects are either kicking in the door or using a crowbar, and once inside they're taking whatever they can get their hands on. "They strung everything out, broke our dresser, went through my wife's undergarments and spread them out, and went through our jewelry," adds Craig Stevens.

Craig Stevens tells us the suspects even took a picture of his wife's father that passed away.

Police say jewelry and guns are what they see taken the most. "It was obvious they were in and out fairly quick, went through a lot of our bank statements, bank account stuff," adds Tommy Stevens.

Now police and victims are warning neighbors to be careful. "Neighbors watch out for one another, everybody keep your eyes open. If you see anything suspicious, call the law," says Craig Stevens.

Police want to remind everyone to keep an eye out for any cars that normally aren't in the area, keep valuables hidden inside your home, and call and ask for extra patrols around your home if you're out of town.

Police tell us they are working on leads in the case, but if you have any information contact the Washington County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office at (423) 788-1414.