GREENWOOD, Ind.– Johnson County detectives are now investigating a rash of thefts from cars, in addition to a recent string of home burglaries.
Neighbors in the Brookhaven subdivision, off Olive Branch Road, woke up Tuesday morning to find somebody had gotten into seven cars that were left unlocked in driveways.
One car owner lost a stereo system, but other items were much smaller. One owner lost a laptop computer bag, and another lost about a dollar in change.
Victims said the thieves also appeared to have cleaned up trash in the cars, while searching for anything to take.
“They got into my mom’s car and just stole a pair of Isotoner gloves,” said Sara Hormann. “But they were in between the seats, so somebody had to have gotten in and probably rifled around to find them.”
The thefts come as Johnson County detectives continue investigating several home burglaries and illegal entries around Greenwood and White River Township.
Tuesday morning, a woman woke up around 9 a.m. to a man kicking in the door of her home on Old State Road 37.
When she went to investigate, the man ran to a large white pickup truck and drove off. She described the man as a white male, in his late teens or early 20s, “skinny” body type, wearing a blue-green t-shirt and blue jeans.
Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox believes there are at least two groups of people breaking into homes: one group targeting subdivisions may be from Johnson County and another group targeting more rural areas may be from outside Johnson County.
Some of the criminals appear to be looking for jewelry that can be easily exchanged at “cash-for-gold” stores.
Many of the burglaries are happening during the day when most people are at work, but it was around midnight within the last week when somebody struck several Greenwood homes near State Road 135 and Curry Road.
One homeowner, who did not want to be identified, said her husband scared a burglar off after hearing a noise and walking downstairs.
“And when he stepped down onto our wood flooring, the creek scared them away,” she said. “But then he saw the outline, there was a foot in our kitchen, and the outline of a shape leaving.”
In a nearby home, the burglars actually sat down to eat ice cream and tater tots before leaving with stolen jewelry. Since then, several nearby neighbors have added lock bars to their sliding doors.
Sheriff Cox said it’s a good idea for residents to consider all security options for their homes and vehicles. It’s also good for parents to talk to children who may spend the day at home during the summer. Rather than telling kids to ignore a knock at the door, parents should teach children to announce through the door that somebody is home, while leaving it closed. That, Cox said, will hopefully prompt a would-be burglar to move along to a different location.