LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Teens cutting class to burglarize homes. That's what police say is happening around Iroquois High School. In a neighborhood plagued by burglaries, Katrina Ellis is just one of many victims. Over the course of a year she's suffered three break-ins. In the most extreme case the culprits spent hours in her home.
“The house was just torn completely apart every drawer was emptied the closets were emptied, mattresses were torn off the beds it was like a tornado had went through the house”, Ellis remembers.
Most of the Iroquois neighborhood thefts, which can be over 10 in a busy wee fit a typical profile. The burglars enter often unlocked doors and windows stealing jewelry, electronics, cash, and clothes. However, what's unusual are the prime suspects.
“There was a group of homes working together they were also working with children in the neighborhood to find out what was in the homes of other children in the neighborhood”, says Ellis.
LMPD burglary detective Kevin Leaks estimates kids are responsible for as many as seventy percent of the Iroquois neighborhood break-ins, often during school hours. He says most live in the area and go to Iroquois High School., although he's caught burglars as young as eleven. Most, he says, are working with adults, trading stolen property for money and sometimes drugs.
Although 4th division detectives have caught about 12 under age burglars since June of last year... They say it's hard to put a stop to the break ins... Since as far as they can tell, few of the culprits, child or adult are part of a group. So instead they're tracking the suspects one by one and they need everyone's help from neighbors being vigilant to parents noticing something's wrong. He says warning signs include students showing up with new clothes, shoes, or other property their parents didn’t buy.