News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Jan. 7, 2013
AIKEN, S.C. -- Emily Hanna and her neighbors along Coker Spring Road in Aiken are on high alert.
"We've been here almost 13 years and have never had a problem or an issue, but I keep doors locked anyhow," she told News 12.
Sometime late last week someone went through the glove box of her son's truck. Nothing was taken except her sense of security.
Neighbors like Katherine Dunbar are less fortunate.
"We haven't slept the past couple of nights. We get up every time we hear a noise. Outside, the dogs even know to be on point. They've been barking at anything," she said.
According to an incident report, Gunter's GMC Yukon was broken into. Important paperwork from inside her car was scattered across the road. She was also missing hundreds of dollars worth of stuff.
"Twelve-gauge shotgun, a case of duck hunting shells, a 22-pistol which stays in the console, $200 of my Christmas money that was in the console and my duck hunting hat," Gunter said.
Just down the street, another neighbor's Mercedes station wagon was stolen that same night. A report says the vehicle was left unlocked and its keys were inside.
"I think they loaded all my stuff into her Mercedes," Gunter said.
The break-ins on Coker Spring Road are just a couple of more than a dozen in Aiken in just the past couple of days.
"We believe the ones happening in the neighborhood are the same person," says Lt. Karl Odenthal with the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
Now, Odenthal is preaching vigilance.
"Most of the cars we've been finding and responding to have been unlocked," he said.
Officers in Aiken will be patrolling more, even in areas where you wouldn't expect this rash of break-ins.
"No one is immune. It happens everywhere," he said.
Meanwhile, neighbors on Coker Spring Road are taking extra precautions, too.
"I think lights are a big deterrence but leaving things in plain view is just a huge temptation, I think, for people who want to rob," Hanna said.