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Shelby County residents launch neighborhood watch group after masked men steal guns and cars

SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. – Weeks of thefts around Shelby County have residents on edge.

“They are taking guns, money, valuables, rings, anything and everything,” said Shelby County resident Gabrielle Duncan.

Many people are increasing security, worried that their property will be hit next.

“We use floodlights, double check windows, and doors, and make sure that if they do come in…there is a price to pay,” said Duncan.

The Shelby County Sheriff says they receive reports nearly every night for the past several weeks about a group of masked men breaking into cars and sheds. At least half a dozen stolen cars and 19 stolen guns have been reported since late March.

“It is more than a one county problem. These people have taken guns, so why would we think that they would not be carrying them,” said Shelby County Sheriff Dennis Parks.

Now, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department is teaming up with residents to launch a neighborhood watch group in the northwest part of the county. The group will focus on the area near the Marion and Hancock County lines, the spot most targeted.

“There is easy access from Indy to the interstate and to possible getaways. Maybe they do not live far away,” said Sheriff Parks.

Already the partnership is helping them get closer to catching the criminals. Some residents are sending in home surveillance videos of the crimes. One guy was caught on camera casing a home, wearing a stocking over his face and possibly a bulletproof vest,” said Sheriff Parks.

Already, the partnership is helping them get closer to catching the criminals. Some residents are sending in home surveillance video of the crimes. One suspect was caught on camera casing a home, wearing a stocking over his face and possibly a bullet proof vest.

“A lot of crimes are solved by people calling in,” said Sheriff Parks.

The hope with the neighborhood watch group is to get everyone on the same page and quickly communicate about any suspicious activity or developments in the case, to keep people safe and catch these criminals.

“If you see something that doesn’t look normal in the wee hours of the night and into the morning, like a car without any lights on or someone walking around…call us. We will come check it out,” said Sheriff Parks.