A group of Lancaster residents says a string of break-ins has people living in fear of what could happen next.
“Who’s to say this person doesn’t come into my yard and take one of them next time?” said Trish Hoehn, as she sat on her front porch with her two young daughters. “Unless that person is caught, it isn’t going to stop.”
Hoehn believes the person or people responsible are using her backyard as an entry point.
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Thieves managed to detach the fence in her backyard before breaking into her shed and stealing a tile saw.
Hoehn is one of several victims living in the 1600 block of Bear Creek Road who have reported nearly a dozen break-ins to Lancaster police. At least four of the break-ins happened in December.
“Those particular crimes are very difficult to combat,” said Lancaster Police Lt. Kelly Hooten. “We can’t be in the neighborhood all the time, but if they see anything suspicious, or any individual who looks suspicious, they need to report it to us so we can go check it out.”
Wooten said officers have stepped up patrols in the area, but without the serial numbers to track the stolen items he said it’s unlikely the victims will be reunited with the thousands of dollars worth of property that has been taken.
“For us, you just have to be on top of the people doing it. This is where the cooperation of our citizens comes in,” Hooten said.
Hoehn said neighbors communicate regularly, alerting one another of suspicious activity. She’s more concerned for the children in the area, which is poorly lit and in a sparsely populated area of Lancaster – less than a half-mile from the Ellis County border.
While Hoehn appreciates the department being proactive she said the sense of unease that has fallen over the area is hard to ignore.
“I don’t have the money to go buy cameras. I don’t have money to put up a surveillance system to catch whoever is doing this,” she said. “We lock everything now. There’s nothing of real value in our backyard or outside of our property.”