Burglary victims ban together to stop neighborhood theft

The neighborhood where at least two break ins on the city's east side. (WTHR)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — A local mother is speaking out about a break in at her home after learning there is a lot more to the burglary than first thought.

Amber Cobb just moved into her home near East 23rd and Lesley Avenue about three and a half weeks ago. Immediately after being burglarized, she typed a letter about what happened to share with people living nearby. That’s when she learned some surprising news.

Cobb discovered the same burglars may have struck at someone else’s home the same day. The break in could not have come at a worse time because not only is she new to the neighborhood, but it’s also time for school fall break. She’s concerned about leaving her children at home while she’s at work.

"It's very terrifying when you have kids," she said.

Amber Cobb said her home was burglarized just last week. (WTHR)

The break in at her home happened last Wednesday, Oct. 9. She now has reason to suspect the thieves may have cased her home before breaking in. She also believes the burglars had their hearts set on what type of items they wanted to steal based on some of the things they left behind and the unexpected things taken from the home.

“They took our TVs and Roku and other things like that and a box of cereal," she said.

While passing out letters about the burglary Cobb learned some more surprising news.

Her neighbor Jermaine Wallace has been living in the area for about four years. He, too, has noticed unidentified people in vehicles parked near their street while parents waited for the school bus with their children before heading to work.

He and the concerned mother crossed paths as she went door-to-door with that letter to warn people.

When Eyewitness News talked with Wallace about his burglary, he showed us where he kept his shoe rack in the master bedroom. Wallace keeps part of his expensive footwear collection on that upright rack. When he returned home last Wednesday from an outing with his brother, he noticed one of the more expensive pairs had disappeared.

Jermaine Wallace also told Eyewitness News that he was a burglary victim. He had a pair of expensive shoes along with wrist watches stolen from him. (WTHR)

He knew right away they were stolen because he had not even worn the shoes yet. That’s when he also learned the burglar stole at least four of his expensive, collector wrist watches. Strangely enough the thieves left behind other items he thought surely would be a target for a burglar.

During their conversations about the incidents Cobb and Wallace learned the burglar got into their homes using the same method.

Neither home had signs of forced entry. But both victims noticed their locks had been tampered with by the suspects.

“I was like 'wait a minute did they pick your lock?' She was like yes. I said 'they hit my house too,'” Wallace said.

Now he and Cobb are warning others not only about how the thieves got in but also about keeping an eye out for suspicious people and unknown cars. They also have the entire neighborhood on alert. Some neighbors like Wallace have even installed security cameras.

Wallace, who has already confronted strangers lingering in the area, now has a handwritten message for any future crooks that reads "WE SEE YOU." He hopes by staying vigilant they can keep down property crimes in their neighborhood.

“I don’t want to see anyone innocent get hurt,” Wallace said. “Too many people are being are being vandalized and murdered in their own homes because of this home invasion stuff, and it's got to stop."

“The next time you go in somebody's house you may not make it back out,” Cobb said.

If you have any information about home burglaries happening in any central Indiana neighborhood call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 317-262-TIPS. If your tip leads to an arrest in a case you will receive up to $1,000. All tips to crime stoppers are 100% percent confidential.