Hixson Neighborhood on Edge after Rash of Burglaries

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – After months of car and home break-ins one Hixson neighborhood said it’s had enough.
News 12’s spoke with some of the affected residents.

“We feel violated. We felt violated and scared”, said resident Laura Croy.

“The only people I see from the city is the people who pick up the garbage”, said resident Michael Sneed.

Neighbors of the West Point subdivision said when they initially reported the crimes to police they say they weren’t taken seriously.

“They made some comments that were not appropriate. They have more important things to do”, said Croy.

Neighbors told News 12 their neighborhood was annexed from the county in 2013 and said these break-ins are partly due to that.

“We got police cars running up and down Hixson Pike all day long, but they don’t come into the subdivisions”, said George Cromie.

City Councilman Ken Smith said he worked hard to try to prevent the annexation from happening.

“They were all annexed in the completion of an annexation from the previous administration. They never should have been annexed. Part of the reason is because we didn’t have services to ensure that we could make sure they were covered as well.”

However, Smith does not blame the city law enforcement for string of burglaries.

“We have had a rash of these types of break-ins across our city. So this is not uncommon.”

Croy said she mistakenly left her door unlocked and when she came back many of her belongings were gone.

“They came in through the front door and it looks like they went straight into the bedroom and stole heirloom jewelry…can’t be replaced. Small expensive items that they could take quickly and put in a backpack and get in and out.”

Sneed said the thief came into his driveway and managed to get inside his locked truck.

“Stole a pistol and ammunition and a gun holster.”

They both said they’re on high alert.

Sneed has added 4 security cameras to the outside of his home.

“I can video everything that happens around my house. My house is complete surrounded.”

Croy’s family has turned on the alarm system.

“We had an alarm system that wasn’t turned on and so we have now turned it on and it’s on  all the time even when we’re home.”

Residents said they met with Chattanooga law enforcement Sunday night and say they identified a suspect, but are not releasing the name of that person until they are charged.

CPD released the following statement to News 12:

“The immediate response was to identify when this was happening and to put a resident in direct contact with the supervisors on the midnight shift and get resources in the neighborhood when they were most effective – in this case, the early morning hours for our 3rd shift officers.
With that taken care of, an increase of visible patrols was ordered during daylight hours, and an investigator that specializes in these types of property crimes was tasked to see if we could link the crimes together in the event someone was caught so that we could maximize prosecution.
A final step is organizing the neighborhood into a formal neighborhood association to create better lines of communication and education, which were factors working against us here.”

Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News