Fountain Square residents forced to make security changes after string of break-ins

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Darnell Benson shook it off when one chair disappeared from his front porch

Benson first saw his chair was missing Friday morning before work, but thought a neighbor who often borrowed it might have it. When he came home from work, his neighbor didn't have it and he started to worry.

“I knew my chair had been stolen, but I didn’t know why they only took one chair,” said Benson.

In the end, it seems the thieves may have liked the one chair enough to come back for the whole set.

“I work hard as a teacher to get everything that I have,” said Benson, who turned all the lights on at his house when he left for dinner to make it look like someone was home. “When I saw that someone just wanted to help themselves to my furniture, it just made me think, ‘What in the world? I can’t even keep patio furniture without someone taking it! Do I have to chain my patio furniture down?’”

Benson is one of many in the Fountain Square area who feel they’re being targeted by thieves. In the past two weeks, there have been more than a dozen theft reports filed with IMPD.

At one house, criminals ripped the electric meter off the side of the home, stole the man’s clothes and even all the food in his fridge.

The criminals’ footprints are still on the locked door they kicked in. This is proof, another victim says, that you need more than a deadbolt.

“The only thing a lock does is keep honest people out,” said Doug Chapman, whose puppy was stolen from his backyard during an early morning grocery run.

Chapman and Benson both say the thefts have forced them to reckon with making some major security changes.

“I’m definitely investing in a security camera system that I can watch while I’m here and while I’m away,” said Benson.

Chapman says he’s learned a simple lock on the door isn’t sufficient.

“I’m going to upgrade it with two eye bolts where it’s got a chain that I can wrap through and I can lock the chain where this can’t be pulled open,” said Chapman.

Benson says he and his neighbors will be vigilant, keeping an eye out for their stolen property and for the criminals who may be inclined to steal again.

“It’s a message for the thief, you know, whoever you are, know that we are actually looking,” said Benson. “We look out for each other.”