Military families fed up with car break-ins

Ingrid Mathews contacted 10 On Your Side, fed up with people going through cars in her neighborhood, Lincoln Military Housing - Willoughby Bay.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Ingrid Mathews contacted 10 On Your Side, fed up with people going through cars in her neighborhood, Lincoln Military Housing – Willoughby Bay.

“In my short time, I’ve had enough. This is absolutely ridiculous,” she said.

Mathews said it happened twice to her since she moved in. Her neighbor, Kiley Ferenc, estimated she has dealt with it as many as six times in just over three years.

“My center console’s like removable and it had a bunch of change in it, and I found it on this road over here when you go out, and they had just thrown their change in their backpack and tossed the console,” Ferenc said.

On Saturday night, Ferenc said she noticed people going through Mathews’ car.

“I came downstairs and opened my door, saw instantly that it wasn’t right, and just ran and yelled, ‘Hey!’ you know, ‘Get out of the car,’ and they just bolted,” Ferenc said.

“We were just chatting and all of the sudden, Kiley runs through the house and she’s like, ‘Somebody was just in your car!,’ and so my husband and I run out of the house and we go chasing after them,” Mathews said.

The neighbors said that in some cases, their car doors were unlocked.

On Facebook, community members have shared their experiences with crime in an informal poll. Nearly 30 said their cars were broken into at some point.

“My husband is gone a lot because we’re a military family, so it’s definitely very frustrating and unnerving to know that somebody’s out here, you know, this close in my personal property,” Ferenc said.

Norfolk police confirmed three reports of people going in cars for the month of November. Community Resource and patrol officers work in the area, police said. They ask everyone to hide their belongings, lock their cars, and report suspicious activity to them.

Lincoln Military Housing issued the following statement:

“The safety and security of our residents is one of our top priorities.  We work closely with the authorities and exchange information so that criminal activity can be prosecuted or prevented.  We also support neighborhood watch programs and provide courtesy patrols to help improve awareness and deterrence.  Keep in mind that Lincoln is a property manager, not a law enforcement entity, and there are legal limitations to what we are permitted to do.  We are committed to our residents and will continue to work with them and the police to make our communities as safe as possible.”

Lincoln Military Housing shared the results of a Resident Satisfaction Survey for the company’s residents in the Mid-Atlantic region. The survey was conducted by CEL and Associates.

“In 2017, 46% of our residents responded to the Resident Satisfaction Survey (RSS). With an increase of 3.65 in our overall satisfaction score, Lincoln Military Housing was advanced from a “good” to a “very good” CEL rating,” the news release said.