Greenwood police urge vigilance after thefts

When a Greenwood woman went to her shed for her lawnmower, she opened the doors to find it was gone.

Erin Arthur knew instantly someone had gone into her shed and stolen it.

Car break-ins and vandalism plagued subdivisions in Greenwood and the Center Grove area last summer.

Almost every week, residents were waking up to their vehicles rummaged through, or their windows shattered.

During the summer, Greenwood police go on twice as many runs as they do during the winter, Assistant Police Chief Matt Fillenwarth said.

Earlier this month, four residents, including Arthur, called police when someone stole lawnmowers and weed eaters from storage sheds, Fillenwarth said.

Now, police are warning residents to be careful and cautious when working around their property and leaving their garage doors open.

Arthur lives in the Brandywine subdivision off of Smith Valley Road, near Greenwood Community High School. Recently, especially in the summer, she is often waking up to find something vandalized or stolen from her or a neighbor, she said.

“I’m over it. I always assumed this was a nice neighborhood, but I can’t even put up landscaping items, we’ve had those taken from us several times. Other neighbors are frustrated as well — we’re over it,” Arthur said.

“Someone came onto my property, got into my shed and took something. Last summer the houses next to us had car windows smashed and we’ve all had our cars broken into. Maybe, because it’s a nice neighborhood, thieves choose to come here.”

Floyd Campbell likes to sit on his front porch, watching cars pass by in the neighborhood he’s lived in for 18 years.

“I sit here, I notice cars that don’t belong here. It’s like someone’s checking out the neighborhood,” Campbell said. “The last year or two has been the worst. Thieves got into my grandson’s car, (the neighbors) had their windshield busted. They’ve been talking about a neighborhood crime watch before it gets any worse.”

Just down the street, Rita Specker worries about what needs to be done to protect her home and cars from thieves. Specker has lived in the same house for 22 years, and crime has increased in the past two years, she said. Most recently, Specker had the stereo stolen out of her car when vehicles along her street were broken into, Specker said.

Arthur is looking into home surveillance systems to catch the thieves the next time they make a stop in her subdivision, she said.

Thieves often target subdivisions for vandalism, car break-ins and theft, Fillenwarth said. Police encourage residents to call 911 when they see something that doesn’t seem right, regardless of the time of day, Fillenwarth said.

Being vigilant and calling police is always the best way to try and stop crime, Fillenwarth said.

“I know to residents it seems like an epidemic, but it’s not — you just got hit by a criminal. It was probably the same individual going into neighborhoods and breaking into sheds,” Fillenwarth said.

“Just be vigilant. If you see a car driving around at 2 a.m., call the police. Just know your neighbors, know when they’re supposed to be home and if you see something suspicious, call us.”

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.