Burglaries, thefts rattle Wyndham and surrounding neighborhoods

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – A rash of home and car break-ins has many Short Pump neighbors wondering when it's all going to stop. The crimes are being reported this week in the Wyndham community and surrounding area, including Kelbrook Lane, Chestnut Hill Drive, and Shady Willow Terrace.

If it was just the car, it wouldn't have been so bad for John Haas.

"Then, they came in this area here," Haas said, walking us to the back of his house.

The burglars got into his garage too. He knew it, when he looked at the floor.

"And I saw it, and I went, 'What is this doing here?' And I went, 'Whoa! Everything's missing!'" Haas said, motioning toward an item that he found on the floor.

It was Tuesday morning, and he estimates about $1,000 worth of stuff was stolen.

"Just the fact that somebody was in my house, gave me a kind of a bad feeling, that somebody would have the nerve to come up in my house," Haas said.

John wasn't the only one in the upscale Shady Ridge subdivision to feel that way.

"You know what? It's just a pain in the backside," said neighbor Daniel Perrone.

At Perrone's house, somebody walked up to the side door and kicked it in so hard, the wood split in half. Nothing got stolen, though. The loud noise apparently scared the burglar away.

Perrone said, "I'm always worried that if somebody has the courage to do this, I heard that in Wyndham, they went *in* the  house..."

That would be the house of Barbara Wilking; the victim of an unfortunate accident.

"It was an open invitation to anyone to come," said Wilking, who lives on Chestnut Hill Drive.

A bottle of weed killer was too close to the garage door sensor, and when she thought she closed the automatic door at night, it actually stayed open.

Inevitably, burglars searched her car and her house, all while she was upstairs sleeping.

"It made me feel violated. I mean, I was scared, too," Wilking said, adding, "The police said there's been quite a lot of incidents in this neighborhood, and they're going to crack down on  this."

According to police statistics, car break-ins rank among the most common crimes in the Wyndham area. 23 cases have been reported in just the past three months. Many more go un-reported. In many cases, doors are left unlocked.

Police say you can protect yourself with good lighting, and by making sure your doors (car and house) are locked before you go to sleep.

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