LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's a scary thought: Your home burglarized while you're sleeping. That's what one Louisville woman says happened to her family and police say her story is good reason for homeowners to be more aware of ways to keep their homes and neighborhoods safe.
The alarm system is working now in Cheryl Effinger's eastern Jefferson County home, but that wasn't the case a few weeks ago.
"We had turned it off," said Effinger, "because it would sporadically just go off."
The alarm was on the "to do" list but, her neighborhood of Pine Valley Estates is seemingly safe. Lots of police officers live there. Now, Effinger realizes not fixing the broken alarm was a mistake.
"You can see there are still a few marks from the crowbar and they had to re-enforce it here," said Effinger pointing to a busted door and lock.
New locks are now in place on all her doors and an ADT repairman followed the locksmith, but this break-in is stranger than most. That's because at first, Effinger and her family didn't know they had been robbed.
"This is the embarrassing part," Effinger explained, "We were sitting around reading the paper (the next morning) drinking coffee and my son went to work and the garage door wouldn't open."
The garage door was off its tracks and the emergency cord had been pulled so it could be lifted without making any noise on the way out. Then the family noticed lots of things were wrong.
"There were bowls on the floor in the dining room," Effinger said.
Downstairs in the basement where the thieves broke in, a flat screen TV, cameras, and cash were gone. It all happened, while they were sleeping.
"That, honestly, horrified me," Effinger remembered. "But, I was very thankful that we didn't wake up because I don't know what that person would have done if we confronted them or cornered them and you know it could have gotten ugly."
Effinger says it is very dark in the back of her house where the thieves came in. Her lights were off that night, but she says they won't be anymore.
"I literally called the alarm company that day," said neighbor Laura Oatley of finding out about the burglary.
Oatley decided her family needed more protection right away.
"I felt like somebody was in my house, walking around and it made me petrified every night," Oatley said. "It scares me to death and I just don't want anybody in there looking at me (asleep), I just can't deal with that."
Louisville Metro Police are still investigating the burglary, but they warn that as criminals continue to be bold, homeowners need to look out for each other. People should call police when they see strange vehicles or persons hanging out in their neighborhood, keep their shrubs down and outdoor lights on.