Loudon Co. residents hit by string of burglaries

September 7, 2007

Good Morning Tennessee Reporter

LOUDON COUNTY (WATE) -- A string of burglaries in Loudon County are keeping law enforcement officers concerned and homeowners checking their locks.

Burglars have hit neighborhoods in about a three mile radius in the Hines Valley area. Duff Turner Estates has seen the brunt of the burglaries, with 10 in just three months.

Richard Truitt, a retiree, says his trailer was stolen about two months ago. He had to shell out more than $1,000 to replace it.

"It's made everyone aware in this neighborhood since it started. Hopefully, this will come to a conclusion," Truitt says. 

The Loudon County Sheriff's Department says in total, there have been at least 30 residential burglaries in the past three months. Officials say that's a significant increase from last year. 

In many of the cases, investigators say the burglars used open garage doors to sneak inside the homes. Some of the most popular items to steal have been hardware tools such as chainsaws and drills.

The sheriff's department says investigators have made progress, arresting and charging one man, Joe Robison, for dozens of burglaries. However, the burglar who stole Truitt's trailer is still on the loose.

Until then, Truitt is relying on a motion detector to alert him of any trespassers.

Another homeowner, Arlene Byler, says she's considering more drastic measures. "I personally don't own a handgun but that's going to be considered because my family's safety comes first."

Meanwhile, some neighbors say they've seen more patrol. But others say more needs to be done to alert citizens about the burglaries.

Officials say they're working overtime to control the rate of burglaries.