“Everyday someone's bike is stolen, or everyday someone's house is broken into, everyday a garage lock is smashed off it,” said William Smalley.
And everyday, at least lately, Riverside Heights residents are catching it on camera. Smalley says surveillance video from his home shows what appears to be a young man casually walk into his yard and hastily run off with a bike.
“Everyone has padlocks, everyone has gate locks now, everyone has motion lights,” said Smalley.
But he says even with all that added security, the thieves continue to find ways around it.
“The neighbors four houses down, when they got broken into, they had security cameras, they had a couple of them, and the guys realized if they turned the breakers off the whole house at night, the cameras turned off,” said Smalley.
“It just makes me feel violated, somebody has invaded your privacy,” said Richard Lemery.
Richard Lemery says he ran off two teens who were looking over his fence Monday night. Tuesday morning, the middle school teacher found his locked garage open and three bikes gone.
“I had to deal with forensics and all that this morning while I’m trying to get ready to go to school,” said Lemery.
TPD says residents have reported vandalism, mail stolen and car burglaries as well.
“There’s a certain level of heightened awareness, I think everyone else is on knowing its happening all the time,” said Smalley.
In fact, Smalley says TPD recently arrested one teen suspected in the burglaries. The teen turned out to be carrying a gun.
“A homeowner is eventually going to be in that situation, and it's going to turn into, 'Why did this poor youth get shot, why did this kid get into this situation,'” said Smalley.
TPD says officers are assigned to the area and do frequent patrols, but a lack of staffing makes it difficult to catch the crooks. They say while the spike appears to be a rising trend, numbers show break-ins to the overall community are actually down so far this year.