Elmore County residents on alert after rash of break-ins - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Elmore County residents on alert after rash of break-ins

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) -

A rash of break-ins has neighbors in Elmore County on edge. In less than a month, nearly 10 homes have been targeted and attacked. The thieves have gotten away with thousands of dollars worth of property.

"It made me mad," said Chris, a Wallsboro resident and victim of the recent break-ins.

He is still heated and upset about what happened at his home. One afternoon three of his children were at home when a man armed with a gun broke in.

"They started screaming and he ran out and they ran into the bedroom," recalls Chris about that day.

His is just one of at least eight break-ins that have taken place over the past 24 days in the Wallsboro area. Thankfully, the children were unharmed and the man ran away empty-handed. But for his children, the scars still remain.

"While we are working eight hours a day to provide a living for our families, others are out eight hours a day trying to steal the things you are working so hard for," said Arthur Smith.

Smith's house was also hit. This time the thieves did get away with plenty of expensive items including several computers, laptops, a smart phone, even his gun.

"You feel violated that someone would intrude upon your personal space and take your personal belongings. We have reached a sad time in our life in the rural area now that we are being victims of break-ins," said Smith.

For many residents, what's even more upsetting is they fear justice won't be served.

"[Sheriff] Bill Franklin and all his men, my hats are off to them. They risk their lives day in and day out. When they do catch the people, they put them in jail and someone lets them out the door and they come do it again, because they have rights and we don't," Chris explained.

Sheriff Franklin says his office is working around the clock to solve this case, but until then he has a strong message for those who are behind it -- Stop before you enter the wrong home.

"People in Elmore County have tolerated it in the past but it's very easy for those people to switch from a concerned citizen to a hunter," Franklin said.

Chris added, "pretty much everyone I know here has a gun and they tote it. Everybody gets mad enough around here and things are going to start happening."

If you have any information about these cases you are asked to call the Elmore County Sheriff's Office at 334-567-5441.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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