Break-ins on Modaus Road worry residents
Jun 24, 2012 (The Decatur Daily - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A string of break-ins on Modaus Road since the beginning of June has the victims and their neighbors on edge, and some say they don't feel police are doing enough.
Four break-ins have been reported in the last three weeks, three of them in the 1400 block and one in the 1600 block.
Tanya Thomas' house was ransacked Monday while she and a friend ate dinner nearby. When she returned, her home was looted, and a Nintendo Wii video game console and more than $1,000 cash was missing.
"At first I thought my dogs had made a mess," she said. "But then I realized I'd been robbed. It was enough to make me sick."
Thomas believes the burglars may have still been in her home when she returned because it appears the ransacking abruptly ended. She said the burglars went through three doors, damaging all of them, and also nearly destroyed an armoire.
Two of the other burglaries had nothing reported stolen, and the third reported missing guns and electronics valued at about $1,100.
"You work all your life to have something, and some thugs take it away," she said. "I hope they find them, and I hope they pay dearly."
Thomas said she felt the officer conducting the original investigation did a mediocre job, and she later received an apology from a detective working her case.
"He touched a door they went through, and even I know you don't do that," she said.
Lisa Strong lives along the stretch of houses that have been targeted, but her house has been safe so far. She said she also feels the police could be doing more.
"I asked them, 'How come I never see one patrol car, but the other night I saw three cars chasing a speeder?' " she said. "They told me they only have seven patrol cars at night, but I just don't buy that."
Strong has worked out a system with her son where each makes sure the other is home before leaving for work so someone is at home at all times.
"I can't leave the house to do anything other than work," she said.
She said she found a pair of gloves and two flashlights under a tree in her yard earlier in the week, and she thinks the burglars that hit Thomas' home may have been hiding in the tree.
"I've bought a gun," Strong said. "I'm worried if somebody doesn't get arrested soon, then somebody's going to get killed.
"If somebody comes into my home, I will shoot to kill."
Thomas also discovered three graffiti tags -- an asterisk and smiley-face in black spray paint on the back of her garage and another face sprayed on a post a few feet away. Thomas' parents, Saundra and Bobby Thomas, own her house and also live on Modaus Road. Sgt. Chris Delgado said no other graffiti has been found.
"I feel like they were watching the house," Tanya Thomas said.
Delgado said he understands the victims' frustration.
"We are actively working on the case," he said. "And we're doing extra patrols in the area."
Delgado asks anyone with information about the break-ins to call Decatur police at 256-341-4660.
The Thomases and Strong all said Modaus Road does not have a history of crime. Many on Modaus Road believe the crime rash began with a vehicle theft at nearby Penrod's Garage.
Bobby said thieves drove stolen cars through a fence and vegetable garden at a neighbor's home. The fence is damaged and tire tracks are visible in the garden.
___ (c)2012 The Decatur Daily (Decatur, Ala.) Visit The Decatur Daily (Decatur,
Ala.) at www.decaturdaily.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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