Real life 'grinches' target cars in Mt. Juliet - WSMV Channel 4

Real life 'grinches' target cars in Mt. Juliet

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MOUNT JULIET, TN (WSMV) -

A band of thieves are targeting cars in Mt. Juliet, stealing anything they can get their hands on, and police are scrambling to catch the crooks before they strike again.

"Some grinches I would call are entering unlocked vehicles and stealing items," Sgt. Tyler Chandler explained.

Just like Santa, they strike while most of us are still asleep. Only Chandler with the Mt. Juliet Police Department said instead of leaving something behind, the thieves are helping themselves to your valuables.

"They're stealing iPods, they're stealing phones," Chandler said.

A cautious homeowner caught the crooks in the act early Saturday morning after installing a surveillance camera outside her home.

"They're going from car to car early in the morning when it's still dark and checking car doors. And when they find one that's unlocked, they open it up and start to rummage inside to see what they can find."

Before dawn, the thieves broke into eight cars in Willow Creek, the Cedar Creek Townhome community, Stone Hollow and Willoughby Station where Christina Baxley lives.

"Went outside and almost everything had been thrown all over my car. My debit cards were missing, my iPod was gone," Baxley recalled.

Investigators believe the ring is selling the goods on eBay or Craigslist. Chandler said the crafty crooks are in their late teens or early 20s and said one of them was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a distinct logo on the back.

"We're hoping someone will recognize that logo and recognize the body frame of this individual and give us their name," Chandler said.

Baxley said she's going to be much more careful in the future.

"I'm just going to be more mindful of where I leave my stuff and make sure I lock my cars when I'm leaving anywhere I go."

And that's exactly what Chandler said we all need to do. He said you should always lock your car and your home and never leave anything of value in plain sight.

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