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Athens neighborhood sees 19 break-ins in 1 week

10:38 PM, Aug 26, 2013   |    comments
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One East Tennessee neighborhood is losing sleep after 19 of the homes have been burglarized or robbed in the past week.

"We've been staying up until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning just looking out, wondering what's going to happen next," said burglary victim, Paul Smith.

The Athens Police Department said the thieves are hitting a few streets in a small section near downtown Athens including, Park Street, Kilgore Street, and South Hill Street.

"They didn't hardly leave anybody out. They got everybody," Smith said.

The thieves started small in some cases. They took only a weed eater and left more expensive tools in Paul Smith's storage shed.

"It just didn't make a whole lot of sense," he said.

In other cases, police say they got more bold. Gail Campbell woke up to her windows breaking in the middle of the night.

While she thinks her dogs scared them away the first time, she said the thieves came back in the middle of the day.

"I have swept up three buckets full of glass," Campbell said.  Three of her windows were busted.

The second time the thieves got away with jewelry and a camera.

"Everything upstairs had been gone through, drawers pulled open, clothes dumped, sheets off the bed. They even tore the dog beds apart."

Neighbors have reported everything from lawn equipment to jewelry missing from their homes.

The police say the majority of the burglaries are taking place outside of the homes in the storage sheds, but a handful of people say someone broke their windows and stole items inside while they were sleeping.

Several residents say are they are taking extra precautions.

An officer stopped by Monday to meet with residents while our cameras were there.

The officer told residents they have recovered some of the stolen items.

But a spokesperson for the department says they have no suspects at this point in the investigation.

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