RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Chainsaws, weed whackers and other power tools don't sound like the typical things crooks are after. But they can be worth hundreds of dollars and recently have become hot items for burglars. In fact, people on Park and Kensington Avenue and Southcliff and Woodbine Road in Westover Hills have been robbed within the past few days.
The obvious answer to protect your items is to get a better lock, but with sheds that are far away from the home, a crook has enough time to pick that lock. It happened in many of these recent cases.
Locks on the sheds in Richmond's Westover Hills neighborhood aren't stopping crooks from breaking in. Just this past week, thieves stole yard equipment and pricey power tools from inside. Eric Mens had his locked, but is still out several hundred dollars worth of equipment.
"They pried their way into this door," said burglary victim, Eric Mens. "I had the chipper and the shredder here and a chainsaw there. Well, you know it's a 700 dollar chipper you know? But it would take two people to carry it, it was that heavy."
The homes that were burglarized in are just separated by an alley. The homeowners believe that whoever came and broke into their sheds came through the alley to clean them out.
"My first reaction was 'Aw crap I should have locked it. I should have locked it last night,'" said another victim.
Right across the alley, one neighbor forgot to lock his shed the night he was robbed but was one of the luckier ones. The crooks only made off with a tree trimmer from his shed. The number of recent power tool thefts though is enough to make him remember to lock his shed the next time.
"(I) Listen to my wife's advice and the police's advice," he said. "So, just a deadbolt. I mean that's the most important thing."
Eric Mens plans to install a motion sensing light like this one on his shed in efforts of scaring off another potential burglar. A good lock and light or a shed that's closer to your home is a better way to prevent crooks from breaking in.
If there's a crime issue in your neighborhood you want us to help you with, just send an e-mail to ECassimy@nbc12.com.