Shattered glass was scattered all over the inside of her vehicle, and a grey brick rested where she had left her purse the night before.
That brick had been used to bust out the window on Lisa DeWeese’s sport-utility vehicle so thieves could take her purse, along with the cash, cards and other items inside it.
On Wednesday morning, DeWeese and 16 other residents of two Franklin neighborhoods woke up to find their cars rummaged through, and in some cases, windows shattered. Most of the break-ins happened in the Deer Trails and Cumberland Trails neighborhoods, which are west of U.S. 31, along Taurus Lane, White Oak Court, Hague Court, Oak Leaf Road and Charles Drive. A car was also stolen from a home on Adams Street, according to police reports.
Residents reported cash, credit cards, bags and a gun were stolen from their vehicles.
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Police across the county say vehicle break-ins are on the rise with the warm summer weather. So far this year, both departments have received a combined 174 break-in reports, and last year officers were called to a total of 255 car break-ins. Summer is typically a popular time for vehicle break-ins, and police faced similar issues last summer, with thieves hitting multiple vehicles in a neighborhood in one night.
Officers are encouraging residents to lock their vehicles and leave their outside lights on overnight.
DeWeese woke to the sound of knocking at her door and found several police officers standing outside her home on Taurus Lane inside the Deer Trails subdivision. Officers told her that her vehicle was one of several targeted in a rash of break-ins.
Before police asked DeWeese if she had anything valuable in her car, she was already thinking about calling the bank to have her debit card canceled and what she needed to do to get a new social security card. The thief or thieves also got away with the cash that was in DeWeese’s purse, according to the Franklin police report.
“I don’t care about the money. It’s just the hassle of getting everything replaced that’s frustrating,” DeWeese said. “It’s sad that people don’t have respect. It’s (unfortunate) that people can actually do that to someone and have no remorse.”
Police noticed DeWeese’s window while speaking to her neighbors, Ron and Shannon Murphy, who also woke up to find Shannon Murphy’s purse had been stolen from her vehicle, Ron Murphy said.
The thief or thieves also tried using a landscaping brick to bust out Murphy’s window. Chipped pieces of brick were all over the driveway next to the vehicle, and the window and side mirror were damaged, though not shattered, Ron Murphy said. Unfortunately, the driver’s side window was left down overnight and Shannon Murphy’s purse with credit cards, cash, her checkbook and shopping bags were all stolen, according to the report.
“It’s a little bit of a shock, but it happens every day, somewhere,” Ron Murphy said. “I’m just amazed they didn’t break the window.”
Both Murphy and DeWeese said the thief or thieves must have brought bricks with them because the ones used to bust out the windows were not from their front yards or anywhere on their property, they said.
Zach Cain was relieved to learn his vehicles weren’t damaged after someone was rummaging through them in the Cumberland Trails neighborhood, Cain said.
The most expensive item taken from one of his cars was a watch, he said. The thieves happened to come on a rare night when his vehicles weren’t locked, Cain said.
“It was a fluke that my car wasn’t locked. I’m glad nothing was broken,” Cain said. “If they were going to take something, though, I’d rather it be a watch from my car.”
Here is a look at the number of vehicle break-ins so far this year, compared to all of 2015:
Community;2015 total;2016 (through July 6)
SOURCE: Local police departments