BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Area law enforcement officers are encouraging folks to be on the lookout now that a rash of recent crimes have cropped up around the capital area. They say it's normal to see a rise in these types of crimes each year near the holiday season.
In a burglary on Pomona Drive on December 6, a young boy can be seen on surveillance video running for his life just seconds before the alleged burglars kicked in the door and rushed into the home. The video shows two of the guys take a TV while a third acts as a lookout. Neither of the men in the video were wearing masks.
The alarm wailed in the background as the trio raced from the home with their take in hand. "It's really unfortunate," said Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola.
Scenes like that early morning burglary are currently playing out in several pockets of the city. Coppola says it's a sign the holidays are here. "There are people out there to try to dampen the holiday spirit," said Coppola.
A week before Christmas, he encourages folks to pay attention in order to make sure they do not become the next victim of these crimes of opportunity.
"Unfortunately, it could happen to you at any place, at any time so we want to stay vigilant," said Coppola.
It is not just TVs being taken. Monica Turner says thieves went straight for the decorations outside her home on Vineyard Drive recently. "All I had left in the house is this," said Turner: "I never wanted holes in my house just to put up lights, so this was a great invention when they came up with this, but you know somehow people found a way to get this."
The alleged bandits nabbed her LED light display and stole her Christmas cheer right along with it. "These people when they took this, this was it. I'm not doing anything," she added.
Two doors down, her neighbor, Diane Chube, says she too was taken advantage of this week. She alleges someone took some of her lights as well. "Somebody just walked up here and stole them just took them out of the yard," said Chube.
What is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year has become the worst for some folks. "If it happened to me and it happened to my neighbor a house from me, I think everyone else needs to know so they'll be aware," said Chube.
From decorations to holiday purchases, it's a time to be on guard about even the smallest decisions. Police say you should also be careful of boxes you put outside. Those empty boxes could draw wrongdoers to peoples' home and serve as the perfect advertisement for what they may find inside.
"It's a shame that you have to be mindful, but you do," said Coppola.
It is an unfortunate but now necessary part of the holiday season.