Old Fourth Ward residents hit by rash of home break-ins

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ATLANTA - Local residents said they are frightened after a rash of home break-ins in their Old Fourth Ward community.

According to the residents, the criminals are taking their time going through boxes of documentation, flipping mattresses, rummaging through closets and walking away with prized possessions.

Lara Holland recently moved to Atlanta. She is a single mother of two, who brought her business from California to the south in hopes of exposing her children to their southern heritage. So far, she said, she's only exposed them to danger.

"Criminal with loaded weapon has access to cash," Holland said.

Holland believes three men broke into her home on Howell Street and took her loaded gun, along with electronics, credit cards, identification cards, piggy banks and family heirlooms.

"There's inside stuff that's irreplaceable. I can't get back the stuff my mom gave my child. She's gone, you know?" Holland said.

Channel 2's Liz Artz spoke to several neighbors in the area. While Holland was the only one willing to go on camera, there is great concern.

Resident say four homes and one business have been broken into within a week and the residents said they don't feel safe -- not in their neighborhood or in their own home.

"It's really scary, especially moving here and not knowing anybody," Holland said.

The neighborhood is banding together to be on the lookout. They said three separate people have all witnessed the same three men, fitting similar descriptions, in the area who they think are the culprits. They've alerted police and want arrests in their case.

The residents said they want police to create a sketch of the suspects, since they say several people saw the same three men. Artz was also told there is surveillance video where Holland's credit cards were used and at a business in the area, but Holland was told it's tied up in the subpoena process.