By Ed Brock
On Easter Sunday Anita Reid-Carroll went to church, and when she came home she found that something unholy had happened while she was gone.
She had been burglarized. The criminals kicked open the side door of her house on Joan of Arc Place near College Park and took her 27-inch television, her stereo and her children's Sony PlayStation.
"You work hard for your things, to provide a nice environment for your kids, and people just kick down your door and take it," said Reid-Carroll, a 28-year-old single mother with two children.
But what's more, after her own victimization Reid-Carroll asked around her neighborhood and found that there had been numerous other burglaries. Like her case, many of them happened in broad daylight, in one case while the victim was away for only about 10 minutes.
"That means they're watching us, they know when they leave," Reid-Carroll said. "(The victim in the 10-minute burglary) had a burglar alarm system and that didn't deter them at all."
The Clayton County Police Department provided reports on five different burglaries that occurred in Reid-Carroll's neighborhood, dating back to September 2003. The burglaries occurred at houses on Norman Boulevard, Kingswood Circle, Shoreham Drive and Collingwood Terrace.
"Someone said it's nothing but kids," said Ursula Hall whose Kingswood Circle house was broken into on March 8.
Hall and her son left their house around 8 a.m. and when the son came home around 4:15 p.m. he found that somebody had taken clothes, a personal CD player, a DVD player, jewelry and other items from the house. In all the cases the burglars generally take appliances and small personal effects and in one case they poured paint on the carpet and walls of a house on Norman Boulevard.
Police have arrested two juveniles, a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old, in connection with at least one case, Clayton County Police Capt. Tim Robinson said.
"The precinct commander for that area knows of the problem," Robinson said. "There should be increased patrols."
It would also be helpful if residents of the neighborhood would call police when they see someone entering a house, especially since the burglaries seem to happen in the daytime.
"You would think somebody would see," Robinson said.
Reid-Carroll said there were cookouts going on all around her house on the day of the burglary and she's also surprised nobody saw anything. And Reid-Carroll also wants more patrols in the area and she thinks the police should do more to inform residents when such a crime spree is happening in their neighborhood.
"If there is a danger I think they have an obligation to let us know," Reid-Carroll said.
Her door is repaired now, but Reid-Carroll said she is still scared at night.
"The burglars really can just kick it right in again," Reid-Carroll said.
Anyone with information on the burglaries should call Clayton County police at (770) 477-3648 or call 911 if they see a burglary in progress.