Neighbors report multiple thefts in Roanoke's Morningside neighborhood
People in Roanoke's Morningside neighborhood are having things go missing from their yards. The neighborhood is located near Belmont Park.
One man who's been affected sent WDBJ7 video of a man taking two bikes from under his back porch.
“We’ve had an issue before with some theft, but it’s definitely different than having somebody come into your backyard and grab something that’s under your house," said homeowner Steve Ambruzs. “It gives you a sense of insecurity and makes you feel a little violated”
Ambruzs said he woke up on Wednesday and noticed a lawn mower in his yard.
"I thought it was kind of odd and neither my wife or I had any idea what was going on," Ambruzs said.
He said he thought, perhaps, it was misplaced.
About an hour after that, Ambruzs decided he wanted to go for a run and noticed his running shoes were missing from his porch. He said he put on a different set and went for his run. Once he returned home, he noticed two bikes were missing, so he decided to check his security tapes.
“I noticed the gentleman back there about six in the morning removing the lock and then removing two bikes from under the porch to the back yard then over the fence and out in about 15 minutes," he said.
After reporting the incident to police, Ambruzs went straight to Facebook to warn his neighbors this was happening. It wasn't until he posted the video that he realized he wasn't alone. In less than 24 hours, he had more than 60 shares and several comments from his neighbors that they also had things taken from them.
“Having these forums online and these places where you can share posts to sort of disseminate quickly has really been beneficial and helpful," Ambruzs said. “It goes to show the power in social media and how you can really hopefully get the word out quickly of issues like this.”
Roanoke Police said it's too early in the investigation to release many details, but detectives are working right now to determine if the incidents in Morningside are connected.
Ambruzs owns Downshift Bikes and Beer and works frequently on repairing bikes. Fortunately, he wrote down the serial numbers of the missing bikes, so if the police can find them, they may be able to return them to him. He suggests that everyone should do that because you never know when something might go missing.
Police gave WDBJ7 these tips to secure your valuables:
-Secure your valuables outside
-Lock your car, house doors and storage sheds
-Leave a porch light on to deter suspicious activity
-Call 9-1-1 if you see anything suspicious