Dozens of burglaries have neighbors on edge

Published On: Nov 10 2012 11:34:39 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 11 2012 07:42:25 AM EST

In the past three days dozens of homes in the Arlington and Fort Caroline areas have been broken into. One family returned home one day to find their home had been broken into, and believe the thieves were still inside.


Cherie and her grandchildren don't want their names or faces revealed because they are still terrified by the home burglary that happened to them last month.

"It's the worst thing I've ever been through in my life.  With two little children in the house. What would have happened if I had been 30 minutes sooner?  What if they were still here, what would have happened to my kids?" the grandmother told Channel 4's Hailey Winslow.

Cherie's grandchildren had the day off from school so she took the day off, too.

"It was like the best day ever at first and then when we got home it was not. It started getting really scary," 8-year-old Alivia said.

The family got home and found the home in disarray. Cherie believes the thieves were still inside because the televisions had been disconnected but were still there.

This is an on-going pattern for homes in the Arlington area.  Seven homes were broken into on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office online crime mapping program, 32 home burglaries had been reported in the past 30 days within a one-mile radius of Cherie's home on Searchwood Drive.

A rash of daytime break-ins also occurred in the Secret Hills subdivision off Monument Road in Fort Caroline.

The pattern appears to be the same.  The thieves usually go around the back of the home and then break in through a screen or window.

Cherie said several items were stolen including jewelry and her grandchildren's video games.

"A lot of this stuff is gifts, or belonged to your parents, or was handed down from your mother, so it'll never be able to be replaced," she said.


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