Hamblen sheriff warning public about home break-ins

Hamblen sheriff warning public about home break-ins

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By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) – The Hamblen County sheriff is putting a warning out to people leaving their homes after several homes in Hamblen County were broken into in the last few weeks. Homes in surrounding counties have been targeted as well, possibly by the same group of thieves.

Sheriff Esco Jarnagin says the criminals knock on a door. When they know no one's home, they make their move

The retired couple 6 News spoke with says they barely leave the house. They were gone to the grocery store for two hours when they were hit. So they think someone may have been watching the home. They got in by prying open a window with a crowbar.

"I had two jewelry boxes on the dresser, and they took both of them," explained victim Lochill Garretson.

Among other things, Garretson says they took a special watch her parents had gifted her over fifty years ago.

"This is our gun cabinet. They opened it and took all the guns," she said, telling us about the 6 shotguns they took. Some were antiques.

Some of those guns had been passed down in the family since the 1800's.

Sheriff Jarnagin is warning the public, asking people to watch out for unfamiliar cars and people in their neighborhoods.

Also, if you can afford it, he suggests getting an alarm system.

"If they go into your house and they do $10,000 worth of damage to your house, you aren't going to get restitution. But if the siren goes off and they don't get in your house, you are victorious," Sheriff Jarnagin explained.

The Garretsons say it'll take a while for them to recover from feeling so violated.

"I guess hurt is the way you'd describe it. It was painful, and still is," Garretson said.

The sheriff's office says they've been responding to the scenes as quickly as possible. They have made some progress in the case.

"I'd like to see them spend several years in prison. I really would," she added.

The thieves appear to be targeting guns, jewelry and prescription pills.

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