Woman warns others after apartment break-in

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Whether you own your home or you rent, it's your responsibility to help protect yourself and your possessions.

If you do rent, you may have little control over security. Police say as more and more rental units open in the Circle City, renters need to work together to protect each other.

"I grew up in New York and never had a problem," said Indianapolis resident Traci Mizrahi.

Mizrahi has now changed her behavior. She broke her lease with her former apartment and has moved apartments.

"I feel much more comfortable here than I did," she said.

Mizrahi has also added extra security by installing another alarm.

"Clearly, being violated has me on alert. I can't tell you it doesn't. I alarm and dis-alarm my system constantly. They crowbarred into my apartment and stole my jewelry box and my passport and my PlayStation and a laptop," Mizrahi said.

A bad start to the new year, Mizrahi was burglarized in her former apartment - thousands of dollars worth of her stuff, gone.

Last July, her neighbor was robbed after the front door was kicked in at that apartment.

Mizrahi says management didn't send out an alert and, more importantly to her, management didn't change the master keys to the building, which several people apparently had.

Mizrahi took a video 16 days after her break-in to show the keys weren't changed. Mizrahi said she wanted to show how she could bypass the electronic key system with the key.

"I didn't use the card system at all, no record of me entering (the) door. It's important for me to show this, because I really did expect the place - after two break-ins in the same building - for them to change the locks," she said.

Eyewitness News talked with management at Mizrahi's former apartment complex. They wouldn't discuss the complaint with us specifically. However, they did confirm that they don't change locks to their buildings after a break-in.

Individual apartment locks are changed with every new tenant.

Metro police Officer Mike Hewitt says apartment complexes do not have to tell tenants about break-ins. He also added apartment complexes aren't legally bound to switch out locks based on tenant requests.

"You can install your own deadbolt," Hewitt said.

With many apartment complexes nearly at full capacity, police are encouraging renters to work together.

"Get to know your neighbors and form a crime watch group in your apartment complex," Hewitt said.

While you may think crime watch programs are just tied to neighborhoods, police say that's not the case.

Metro Police urge renters to work together to create a crime watch program for an apartment complex.

Indianapolis Crimewatch information