Old Orchard neighbors fighting back against burglars

Old Orchard neighbors fighting back against burglars
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - After more than 15 burglaries in about a month, neighbors are fed up and are coming together to take back their neighborhood.

"It just blew my mind and was so shocking that it happened right across the street from me," said Yixing Chen.

Old Orchard is normally a quiet neighborhood, but now neighbors are on edge after a series of home burglaries.

"These are homes and you know we want to feel safe," said Amy Breitner, a neighbor living in Old Orchard.

In the past month at least eight occupied homes have been broken into and another five cars had items stolen. Most of the offenses happened between 8:00 p.m. and midnight with money, jewelry, and electronics being stolen.

"It doesn't really matter to me what they are taking out of houses," said Lieutenant Dan Gerken of the Toledo Police Department. "Any time somebody gets their house burglarized no matter what they take is not good. People should be safe in their homes."

Toledo Police did find one suspect, but are still looking for others.

They met with concerned neighbors Wednesday during a meeting at St. Pius. They explained the suspect's M.O.: To check the front door to see if someone is home, then sneak around to the back before breaking in.

Neighbors had several questions from security tips to what to look for and how they could help.

"What we can do as a community together," said Amy Breitner. "We're talking block watch, neighborhood watches and those types of things so just to kind of get more involved."

Police said they are following several leads and do believe the suspect is roaming the neighborhood on foot.

While they are still searching for suspects for the series of break-ins in Old Orchard, neighbors said they are going to be more vigilant too. Some already have gotten security cameras and others are just going to be more intentional in their neighborhood.

"I hope that this is a message for other people," said Yixing Chen, a neighbor living in Old Orchard. "You know like watching for suspicious people, suspicious activity, making their home more safe so that this will get deterred and go away."

Police do have additional patrols in the neighborhood because of the recent trend of break-ins as well as detectives assigned specifically to this case.

TPD handed out tips to neighbors to protect themselves, recommending neighbors take inventory of their valuables through a free online system called ReportIt.com.

They also suggested a number of other tips:

  • Make your home look occupied
  • Lock all doors and windows before you leave or go to sleep
  • Have exterior lights
  • Trim your trees, bushes, and shrubs so burglars cannot hide in them
  • Consider an alarm system
  • Work with neighbors to look out for one another
  • Report suspicious people and/or activity to police