Thieves target apartment complex drop boxes - WSMV Channel 4

Thieves target apartment complex drop boxes

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Clarksville police said a pair of thieves hit six apartment complexes in two weeks and walked away with thousands of dollars in rent money. Now the search is on for the crafty crooks.

"These guys look like they know what they're doing," Jim Knoll with the Clarksville Police Department said.

Knoll said the surveillance tape showed two masked men walking into the lobby at the Regency Square Apartments. One played lookout, while police said the other grabbed a handful of rent payments well out of view of the camera.

"It looks like it took them three or four minutes from the time clock, from the time they came in. So it looks like they've had practice doing this," Knoll explained.

According to police, the pair hit half a dozen apartment complexes between Sept. 27 and Oct. 7, mostly on the weekends when many management offices are closed. The thieves targeted the Bluffs Over the Cumberland, Cumberland Manor, Crossland Place and Crossland Manor.

"It covered a two-week time period where people typically pay their rent. And that's the concern, now we're coming up into another time frame where other businesses have those type set up where they could fall victims," Knoll added.

So far, the thieves have stolen more than $7,200 in money orders of tenants' hard-earned rent money. In each case, police said the thieves altered the money orders then cashed them in.

"You're looking at forgery charges, you're looking at burglary charges, you're looking at theft ... you are looking at felonies on most of these," said Knoll.

None of the property managers would talk on camera, but Knoll had one piece of advice for tenants paying their rent.

"Hand carry it - give it to someone to take in for you," Knoll warned.

Investigators believe the pair may have hit several apartment complexes in Kentucky and Georgia as well. Clarksville detectives are working with authorities there to crack the case. Detectives have several suspects in mind and hope to make arrests soon.

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