TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Early Thursday morning, a string of burglaries took place between south Tyler and Whitehouse, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. The crimes took place over a 17 mile radius with homes in Vanderbilt Estates, Holcomb Circle and Waterton Circle.
Several cars were targeted, and the thieves are still on the run. Cars, money, and guns were some of the items targeted and their actions were caught on camera. Ring camera footage shows the burglars using flashlights, and going through residents’ cars. One video even captured one of the thieves faces.
“I still feel really violated that someone was going through my personal property in the middle of the night without me knowing,” says a burglary victim from Whitehouse.
Deputy Larry Christian said that investigators were called out after 5 a.m. in the Vanderbilt Estates neighborhood, a gated community on Holcomb Circle. It appears a car was stolen along with “several other property items.”
A homeowner at Waterton Circle in Whitehouse says she received an alert from her ring camera around 3 a.m. She quickly woke her husband up, and they ran out the door screaming at the burglars. They saw four people take off running down the street.
Christian said that they are searching for three to four suspects as of this writing. He also stated that deputies were getting ready to deploy a drone as well as a K-9 unit.
“At this point, our investigators are following up on the leads right now and we do have some good information that may lead to positively identifying some of the people that were involved in these auto burglaries,” said Larry Christian, Smith County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer.
“These neighborhoods are very, very safe and they remain safe. This was a crime of opportunity and what I mean by that is the burglaries themselves were almost exclusively on unlocked vehicles within those neighborhoods,” says Christian.
The sheriff’s office was able to recover one stolen vehicle, several handguns and handbags. The thieves are still at large, and the Smith County Sheriff’s Office hopes to start making arrests soon.
“They’re looking for an easy target and an easy target is an unlocked vehicle with you know fire arms, electronics, purses, hand bags, those sorts of things in there,” said Christian.
Christian says to make sure you always lock your cars, and take anything valuable out at night. If you have any information about the burglaries or recognize any of the suspects please reach out to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-590-2661.
Several neighbors got doorbell or security camera footage of the night, including the one below:
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.