DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Local residents say criminals robbing their homes are now armed with their stolen weapons.
Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri talked with neighbors in the Gresham Hills community about break-ins in July. Many of them say they take their own steps to protect their homes, like installing surveillance cameras.
Many now say they hope the planned expansion of East Atlanta's security patrol extends to their community.
Andrea Roemer came home to find her front door kicked in two weeks ago and her bedroom ransacked and high priced electronics gone. Roemer said the scariest part is that thieves also stole her gun, something she said has happened to other neighbors.
"I know a neighbor a few blocks down, they had a 9mm and a shot gun was taken out of their house," Roemer said.
She said the thieves weren't fazed by her dog.
"(They) hit her until she went in the room and then they threw a bookshelf on her," Roemer said.
Roemer is one of several neighbors in the Gresham Hills area who want to be included in a planned expansion of the East Atlanta security patrol into neighborhoods in unincorporated DeKalb County.
"I would love them to consider that, yes because I know this area is in high need of something like that," Roemer said.
In July, Viteri sat down with Dekalb's Police Chief Cedric Alexander who put nearly 30 extra officers in Southeast DeKalb, which led to a surge in arrests. Neighbors said they'd welcome any extra security. One neighbor showed where thieves tried to kick her door in on Sunday.
"The kick was hard enough to jolt the door and trigger the alarm," the neighbor said.
She said thieves successfully broke in earlier this year and took a flat-screen TV. The cost for security patrol membership would be $200 a year per family and $50 for senior citizens. Neighbors said it's well worth it if it means feeling safe in their own home.
A representative for the security patrol said they are considering several options including starting a second patrol for some of the neighborhoods further south in the county.
They are having a meeting on Dec. 3 to get feedback from the neighborhoods before the expansion starts in January.