Stolen cars and burglaries in Waterford Subdivision over the holidays have led Knox County Sheriff’s Office officials to issue warnings and ask for some assistance from the community.
Capt. Steve Webb of the KCSO Detective Division’s Property Crimes unit, confirmed two stolen cars, while two car burglaries were reported in the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 29, taking place on different streets within the neighborhood located off Concord Road.
“We have been experiencing increasing reports of burglaries and attempted burglaries throughout the area all during the holidays,” Webb added, noting an uptick in reported car burglaries beginning Thursday, Dec. 26 in West Knoxville. “Crime increases when kids are out of school.”
Throughout the county, officers have been advised that teams of suspects are driving to various neighborhoods then dropping off one or more individuals who are looking to steal items from parked vehicles.
“We see people every night, in various subdivisions, just walking up and down the streets and pulling on car doors,” he said. “It just takes seconds for someone to get inside your car. Homeowners and property owners need to do what they can to secure their possessions, starting with locked doors.
“The day and age of leaving your car or property unlocked or unattended has passed,” he continued, noting that both cars stolen had the keys inside. “If your car is locked, and they see something inside they will probably still break the window — but it still could slow them down.”
One of the stolen cars was found after the theft and was taken to the KCSO impound lot, and the investigation is ongoing, Webb said.
While some homeowners do file police reports — as the Waterford residents did — others don’t, or instead take to social media in the aftermath of suspected criminal activity, Webb noted.
“It is good for people to let their neighbors know if they suspect someone has been in the neighborhood, but they need to let us know, too, so we can help find the perpetrators and stop the break-ins,” Webb said
“Call the Sheriff’s Office. Even if nothing is taken, it’s still a crime and it’s good for us to come and check it out,” he added.
Webb said when KCSO is alerted of suspected criminal activity, “we add patrol to those areas, in addition to following up on the reports.”
If a crime is in progress, Webb emphasized citizens should call 911 — but if one is suspected, they may call the KCSO non-emergency number, 865-215-2444.
Anonymous tips may be sent thorough the KCSO website, www.knoxsheriff.org, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.