Evansville Couple Turns Frightening Burglary Into Teachable Lesson

A rash of break-ins in Warrick County and the east side of Evansville has authorities looking for a possible link. Meanwhile, one family victimized by a burglar earlier this month says the ordeal has them making changes and warning their neighbors to do the same.

A rash of break-ins in Warrick County and the east side of Evansville has authorities looking for a possible link. As we reported Monday, Warrick County Sheriff's deputies are investigating what officials call an alarming increase in the number of home and vehicle break-ins. Evansville Police also report multiple burglaries on the east side near Outer Lincoln and Washington Ave.

"Last year, we saw several people starting to break into homes on the east side," said Evansville Police Sgt. Jason Cullum. "Now, we're keeping that possibility open. The only thing we have that's helped us in the investigation are the images that we released last week and that person appeared to be working alone."

On May 2nd, Gerald and Donna Ward, who live near Lincoln Ave. and Burkhardt Rd.,found themselves face to face with a suspected burglar. The couple says the man didn't take anything but the ordeal gave them a reason to warn others.

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When Gerald bought his home surveillance system his wife couldn't help but to roll her eyes.

"I thought it was a waste of money," Donna Ward said. "And he just kept on going and kept on going with the security system."

"I really thought I went off on the deep end a little bit," said Gerald Ward. "I didn't really see it ever paying for itself."

Gerald installed the security system in February. It's still under warantee but it's alreayd shown it's worth. It was the morning of May 2nd at 3:59.

"My wife grabbed my arm and squeezed it real tight and whispered in my ear, 'someone is in the house,'" Gerald Ward said.

"I was scared. I really was," Donna Ward said. "I saw the figure there standing in my bedroom."

An unknown man wearing camouflage pants walked right into their house. Six minutes later, he bolted right out, shoes and jacket in hand.

"What I did was I accidentally left the garage door," Gerald Ward said. "I haven't done that in a long time but evidently, I left the garage door open which I guess was too much. It was cotton candy to a criminal."

"It's like when a tornado goes through. You never forget the sound," Donna Ward said. "I'll never forget the figure in my bedroom."

The camouflage-wearing culprit didn't take anything except for their sense of security, Gerald Ward said. The couple has made a number of changes around the house including a new ADT security system. They also have plans to increase their already elaborate security system.

"Are we going to let them continue to do what they want to do?" Donna Ward said. "I'm a firm believer in that if you want the good to win out, you've got to get up off your rump and do something." 


If you have any information on this or any other burglary contact Evansville Police or call the WeTip hotline.

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