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South Bend residents on edge after lawn equipment thefts

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A string of burglaries has some South Bend residents on edge.

The thieves are targeting lawn equipment and South Bend Police are investigating at least three separate instances.

People in the neighborhood say this is not typical for this area; they want their neighbors to be on the lookout.

Susan McGalliard has some of her property missing.

“A lawn mower, two snow blowers, weed eater, hedge trimmers, and an edger. All of it was gone," said McGalliard. "They had cut the lock on my shed, and got it out.”

McGalliard has been living on Huey Street for 8 years.

She says this crime is shocking, especially for this area.

"Yeah, we hardly have any trouble over here,” said McGalliard.

She’s not the only victim, either.

South Bend Police confirm there have been at least three similar incidents on Huey, Eclipse, and Mead Streets.

The suspect has targeted lawn equipment in each incident.

A woman that did not want to show her face on camera or be identified told ABC 57 News she has lived on Huey Street for almost 20 years and woke up today to find her lawn mower missing.

“We really don’t have a lot of crime in our neighborhood in general so I was kind of surprised that someone broke into my garage,” said the woman.

While the woman is upset about the loss of the mower, she says whoever is responsible also stole her daughter’s peace of mind.

Her 8 year old daughter got into bed with her overnight.

When the pair woke up, the 8 year old girl told her mom there was loud banging outside her bedroom window.

The 8 year old girl is still shaken up.

“She asked me if she could spend the night at her grandma’s house because she doesn’t wanna stay here because she heard that banging and she knows that man was in our backyard,” said the woman who wishes to remain unidentified.

That banging had turned out to be someone trying to break into their garage by kicking in the door.

The woman tells ABC 57 News that whoever stole her lawn mower had broke out the back panel from her garage, unlocked the garage door, and walked off with the mower through the alley.

These victims are urging others to take precautions.

Susan McGalliard told ABC 57 News, “well, if [neighbors] have anything of value, they better lock it down before [burglars] get that too.”

South Bend police are investigating and have not said whether these incidents are related or if they have a suspect in mind.

There could also be other victims who have not come forward.

If you’ve had your lawn equipment stolen, make sure to file a police report.

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