MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Murfreesboro Police Department is urging residents not to confront car burglars after a homeowner exchanged gunfire with two people attempting to break into a neighbor’s vehicle on Sunday, April 17th.
The preliminary investigation shows a homeowner received an activation on his security camera showing two males attempting to break into his cars. By the time the homeowner made it to the front door he discovered the males attempting to burglarize a neighbor’s vehicle. After yelling at the car burglars, they fired shots at the homeowner who then fired back at them. No one was injured. The man’s home was struck by bullets. The getaway vehicle believed to be a small compact SUV, possibly a Ford Edge, may have been struck by bullets on the passenger side.
“We urge residents to use caution and never approach or engage with criminals,” said Criminal Investigations Division Crimes Against Persons Sergeant-Detective James Abbott. “You don’t want to take a chance of being shot or killed.”
In a separate incident on April 8th, another homeowner noticed his car had been rummaged through after returning home around 3 a.m. He confronted a male running across the street from his home on Green Acres Lane. The unknown male shot twice at the homeowner, damaging his home. The homeowner was not injured.
“Property can be replaced, lives can’t,” Abbott said. “The best advice for residents is, if you see or hear anything suspicious, or see someone breaking into your car, call police immediately.”
Since March 1st, there have been more than 100 car burglaries in neighborhoods across Murfreesboro. Sixteen firearms were stolen. All the cars were unlocked.
Several detectives are working the car burglaries and have developed several persons of interest.
MPD’s Directed Patrol officers are saturating the city where cars are being targeted in hopes of catching the car burglars in the act.
“Unfortunately, we can’t be on every street at the same time,” said Crimes Against Property Sergeant Detective Tommy Massey. “It’s only a matter of time before we arrest these criminals and hold them accountable.”
There have also been several vehicles stolen in the city. According to detectives, the doors to all the stolen vehicles were unlocked with the key fob left inside.
Detectives arrested 18-year-old Keonza Scales and 19-year-old Antonio Gooch charging them with motor vehicle theft in two of the cases. Both bonded out of jail.
“The best deterrent is to lock your car doors, remove valuables and firearms,” Massey said. “The burglars are by-passing locked cars and moving on to ones that are unlocked.”
Murfreesboro Police have an ongoing campaign called the ‘9PM Routine’ whereby they encourage people to lock the doors on their vehicles and homes by 9 p.m. every night.
Anyone with information about these car burglars is asked to call Murfreesboro police at 615-893-2717. You can also give tips anonymously through the P3 Intel Mobile App or by calling Crime Stoppers at 615-893-STOP (7867).