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Violent crimes in Toledo rising, police say residents need plan

According to Toledo police, property crime is up throughout the city.  According to a series of Toledo homeowners, those burglars are getting very violent.

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - According to Toledo police, property crime is up throughout the city.  According to a series of Toledo homeowners, those burglars are getting very violent.

Last week, a 20-year-old victim says she called 911 when a burglar came in through her broken sliding glass door to her Yermo Street apartment in west Toledo. She said she confronted the criminal who went to her kitchen and grabbed a knife.

During the struggle, she says he cut her and ran off.  She was admitted to the hospital after police responded.  She said she's now out and staying with her parents in Michigan.

Four days later, a 56-year-old retiree in south Toledo said he heard a noise in his basement when he was on his couch watching Monday Night Football.

"I heard some glass break," the victim said.  When he then heard his stairs creek to the upstairs, the victim got up and found a gunman in his stairwell.

The victim said his wife was in the next room so he told her to call police as he tackled the crook. The 56-year-old hurt his foot and received several bruises but the burglar ran off.

"It's one thing to be out on the street and have a mugger come up on me.. But this is in my house.  This is unbelievable," said the victim.

That's why Toledo police say it's time to come up with a plan.

"The more burglaries there are, the more the chance they're going to bump into a good guy," said Lt. David Schmidt with the Toledo Police Property Division.

First he says keep all doors and windows closed and locked, even on a nice night.  He advises placing sound makers or alarms on each window or installing an alarm system all together.

If a burglar does get in your home, Lt. Schmidt says always keep a phone at arm's length so you can call 911.  He says avoid confrontation.

"Get out.  Don't get trapped in your house," said Lt. Schmidt.

And according to Ohio state law, every homeowner has the right to use force to protect themselves and their property.

"You should always be prepared.  Have a rough idea of what you're going to do," said Lt. Schmidt.

The 56-year-old retiree and block watch members says he's now investing in burglar bars.   He also says he'll also stop answering his door to the home he's had for the last 15 years.

"I hate to say it but if you come up here and your young and you have your pants hanging off your a**, that's automatically going to be a no," he said.