Rash of home burglaries prompts crackdown in Blount County

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BLOUNT COUNTY (WVLT) Every police department and sheriff's office in Blount County is reporting a sharp increase in home burglaries in recent months.

Now, they are working together to help track down whoever is responsible.

Volunteer TV's Blount County Bureau Chief Stephen McLamb has more.

It appears the biggest item appears to be big screen television sets.

To give you an idea how serious it's getting.

Maryville is used to seeing two burglaries a month.

Here are three incident reports from just this past Friday.

When Roma McCammon got home last Friday, she became puzzled knowing she had locked her door.

But when she came inside with her three year old grandson Connor, she knew something was wrong.

"We were going into the bedroom so he could watch his cartoons and no TV. So then I brought him into the living room to watch it. No TV."

One of the television sets was purchased just a few weeks ago, the box in another room.

It was something McCammon hasn't experienced before.

"It's very bad because you know someone has been in your home."

And she's not alone.

Alcoa has seen nearly ten burglaries.

Maryville nearly the same.

Chief Tony Crisp, Maryville Police Department says, "typically we have about two burglaries, home burglaries a month. Now, I think we're around since the first of the year 22 or 23."

And Blount County.

Sgt. James Trentham, Blount County Sheriff's Department says, "I would say we're probably creeping up close to one hundred burglaries."

And all of these burglaries seem to have something in common.

Chief Crisp says, "that's sort of been, if you can say it, a theme has been big screen plasma TV's."

But connecting the dots of who is responsible has been a problem that has been largely unsolved since they began last November.

Authorities believe it could be multiple people using multiple vehicles to commit the crimes.

So law enforcement is putting their heads together.

Chief Crisp says, "we have put together a task force where we're really looking at all of the burglaries collectively and trying to compare cases with each jurisdiction."

Law enforcement says you can be the biggest help in putting a stop to these burglaries.

Chief Crisp says many of the burglaries are happening in the day while people are at work.

He urges people to talk to their neighbors and watch their homes for them while they are away.

And call authorities if you see anything suspicious.

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