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Eastside neighborhood on edge after two burglaries in a week

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Eastside neighborhood on edge after two burglaries in a week

CREATED Mar 14, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Two homes ripped off in a week. It has eastside neighbors terrified. Thieves broke in while residents were away and made off with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and more.

Arlene Essig has lived along Speedway and Tanque Verde loop for 15 years. She says she always felt safe and always felt secure. Since Friday, everything has changed. When she returned home from a short shopping trip, she found a "disastrous" scene inside here home.

"Every closet, every dresser, every room was totally torn apart and dismantled," Essig said.

Essig showed 9OYS how the culprits broke in. They clawed a hole in a large security door, then they broke her front door windows. She pointed out exactly where she believes the bandits were able to sneak onto her property  undetected. In a few hours, all her jewelry was gone, but that's not the worst part.

"The worst part is they took my gun," she said.

Essig tells 9OYS she forgot she even owned a gun until she realized it was missing. It's been years since she's fired her weapon, but the burglary inside her own home is making her twice about her safety and what she can do to protect herself. 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked Essig how this episode has made her feel?

"I go to bed with double lights on," Essig said. "I'm very, very nervous. My security door hasn't been replaced, so if these idiots decide to come back they could do it again. It's hard to go to sleep. I'm very, very tired."

Essig isn't alone. Her neighbor down the street Camella Patton was also a burglary victim just days earlier. Thousands of dollars worth of her jewelry was also snatched. It's forced her to put up a new gate right outside her property.

"I was in shock and I felt violated," Patton said.

Patton tells 9OYS she moved out to this remote area to get away from crime, but now she's going to be more careful.

"I've loaded my arensal," Patton said. "I've become much more aware of the traffic on the roads."

Meanwhile Essig says she's hopeful the culprits who stole her sense of security and her gun are brought to justice soon.

"I'd tell them to just stop because you're going to get caught," Essig said. "I don't want to see anyone go through this. It's just awful."

The Pima County Sheriff's Department says these two incidents aren't enough to be classified as a spree of  burglaries. 9OYS looked up recent crime reports and found a total of eight burglaries in a 2-mile area near Essig's home since January.

Call 911 or 88-crime with any information on these cases.