Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks said this week that APD investigators are using every resource at their disposal to identify and arrest the person or persons responsible for a string of recent burglaries that have plagued residents of the city’s southwestern sector.
“We’ve had several burglaries around the Forest Hills Drive, Rockaway Creek Road and Grubbs Street area,” Brooks said Tuesday. “We have several victims out there, and we are aggressively investigating these burglaries.”
He said most of the residential break-ins were carried out in broad daylight.
“They have primarily been in the daytime, when the homeowners are away,” said the police chief, who added that cash, jewelry and “other personal items” have been the primary targets of the thief or thieves, who stole a small safe from one residence.
APD detectives are hoping that the theft of the safe might provide police the break they need to solve the series of crimes.
“We’ve recovered a safe that was removed from one of the homes,” Brooks said. “Actually, a property owner located it and called us. We immediately recognized it as being from one of the houses that were burglarized.”
Brooks said the safe was “taken into evidence and processed for fingerprints and DNA.” Authorities are awaiting the results of that processing before taking the next steps in their investigation.
One of the victims, who asked not to be identified, said the burglars hit her home at some point between 9:30 a.m., when her daughter left for school, and 4:15, when she returned. She said the feeling of being victimized was hard to shake.
“They used a crowbar to pry our back door open,” the victim said. “They took $50 out of my 12-year-old daughter’s drawer; they took my good jewelry and even some of my clothes. All my good jewelry was in a jewelry box inside my safe, and they took that. I just feel so violated.”
She added that the incident even shook – to some degree – her faith in her fellow humans, while also lessening the degree of safety she feels in her own home.
“It really blows me away, that people are so greedy that they have to steal from others,” she said. “I’m just stunned that it really happened, and I just don’t feel safe anymore …
“I hope I can find the silver lining in this, but I don’t know.”