Property Crimes Spike Across Region

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Drug addiction is fueling a spike in property crimes.

In Huntington, they are up 8.5 percent from this time last year, according to police, mainly due to thefts from vehicles.

"We work the cases we can work and that really depends on the people who have the information to go with," explained Detective Fitz with the Huntington Police Department.

That means writing down the make, model and serial number of the items you own.

"Firearms, any electronic devices, tablets, laptops, your desktop computers, your Blu-ray players, your televisions, any appliance that is portable yet expensive," Fitz explained.

Bonnie and Ashley Jackson know firsthand how devastating property crimes can be.

Last October their home was ransacked by burglars.

Everything in the house was taken. Textbooks, to a computer with their school work and papers, an engagement ring, and the shoes on their feet -- the women were left with nothing.

"It cost me my grades, my peace of mind because I am afraid to leave my home," Bonnie explained.

"I always have to worry about the people who are walking by," Bonnie said. "If they are watching to make sure we are about to leave or anything like that."

"We ended up waking up and seeing people looking through our window and staking out what we owned," Ashley said.

The women have a towel covering the window on their front door -- "as tacky as it looks," to keep people from peering into their home, Ashley said.

The women did not have renter's insurance.

They do now. They also have the serial numbers and pictures of the valuable items that are in their home.

"I think you have to live realistically, that bad things do happen and the more you prepare for them before you happen the easier it is to recover," Fitz said.

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