By Cassie Garrett, Contributor

On the morning of Thursday, September 12, the Franklin County Sheriff's Department received multiple reports of vehicle thefts, as well as vehicle break-ins, on the eastern side of Franklin County.

According to a release from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were first called to a residence on Sleepy Hollow Road around 1 a.m. to a report of a stolen vehicle. Over the next several hours, deputies received two additional stolen vehicle reports, as well as several reports of items being stolen from inside of vehicles throughout Springfield and Bath townships.

Nedra McClure, a Sleepy Hollow Road resident, and car theft victim, shared her account of the events. She believes her car, a 2006 white Buick, was stolen around 1 a.m. Thursday morning. McClure however, did not discover her car missing until around 9 a.m. Thursday morning. It was hindsight that helped her to come to the conclusion it happened around the same time as her neighbors.

“I had heard the dog barking around 1 a.m., I went to the back porch to check on her and didn't see anything,” McClure said.

She assumed the dog was barking at another animal passing by in the woods and didn't give it any more thought and went on to her bed. When she awoke, she noticed while looking out her window that the car wasn't where she remembered it to be. She already heard that a nearby neighbor had a vehicle stolen, but it didn't click just yet that hers had been too. Her husband was working outside that morning, moving vehicles around so they could have their barn painted.

When McClure didn't see the car right away, she assumed her husband had moved it. After giving him a quick call he confirmed he had not been in the Buick that morning. At that point, McClure realized her car too, was stolen. McClure was thankful that unlike some of her neighbors, her car that was missing wasn't her daily driver. The Buick had been moved to that part of the driveway so they could advertise it was for sale. For that, she was grateful. McClure only had one complaint; She loves the area and neighbors, and she shouldn't have to worry about thieves from other towns coming and disrupting their peaceful way of living.

Mclure had some conclusions after talking to all her neighbors involved. The incident probably involved four or more people, it was set up prior to that night, and that the group could have possibly come in from the Raymond area.

“Our Deputies are diligently following up on leads,” said Sheriff Peter Cates in a statement. “It is important that if you live in and between the Mt. Carmel and Bath areas, and you saw something or someone that just seemed out of the ordinary on the morning of the 12, please contact our office,”

Deputies want to offer a few tips to help prevent becoming a victim of theft:

Lock your doors and close your windows.

Remove your keys from your vehicle(s).

Do not leave spare keys near your vehicle(s).

Park in a well-lit area.

Remove all valuables from your vehicle or place them out of sight.

As for McClure and her family when asked about how this would impact their lives, she mentioned maybe having some motion detecting lights installed on that side of her property, but reiterated several times it was just “stuff” thankfully.

Her final statement on the matter, “Our faith is bigger than our fear.”