Neighbors cautious after string of car break-ins in Huntsville

Police say they believe the man had been breaking into cars for about a month before he was caught.

Posted: Dec 21, 2017 7:11 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2017 7:26 PM

People are taking extra steps to protect their property after a recent rash of car break-ins in Huntsville.

Luckily, the man believed to be behind some of these break-ins has been arrested, according to the Huntsville Police Department.

Police say 48-year-old Jimmy Norman was taken into custody at the Cabana Apartments on Thurman Road after a man's car alarm went off and he alerted police.

WAAY 31 reached out to neighbors on Thurman Road to see what they thought about the recent string of break-ins and what they're doing to keep it from happening again.

“I’ve always felt safe until I found out this morning all these cars were broken into last night," said Thurman Road resident Iris Becht.

Becht says she’s lived in the neighborhood for 24 years now, and she's never had to worry so much about crime.

But another neighbor says it’s nothing new. He just thinks it’s gotten worse because of the holiday season.

“Usually, it’s just one or two every few months or so but, like I said, here in the last week, you’ve probably had ten, twelve," he said.

And he's not wrong. Lt. Donny Shaw with the Madison County Sheriff's Office says car break-ins definitely spike around the holidays.

Shaw says people make the mistake of leaving shopping bags and other valuables in plain sight.

He says it’s as simple as always locking your car doors and putting those valuable items in the trunk.

One neighbor agrees and says a car break-in can be costly.

"It’s terrible to have to think that you’ve got to take extra money that you were going to spend on Christmas and spend it on replacing your window that somebody decided to break out to get what belongs to you that’s in your car," he said.

His next-door neighbor was actually targeted while out of town, and he had to give her the news.

“It’s somebody you don’t want to call and tell them, ‘Hey, you’ve got problems back home,'" he said.

Becht says she’s been a victim as well, even with a police officer living right next door.

“When they broke into my car, his car, police car, was in the driveway, his porch light was on, my porch light was on, big light out back, porch lights on all three of these houses," she said.

Becht says she’s shocked that the culprit even tried to mess with her car, but she admits an unlocked car is easier for a thief than breaking into a house with an alarm system.

“Even though I’ve got ADT, that doesn’t apply to my car,” she said.

All neighbors agreed, after learning about last night's rash of break-ins, they're going to be extra cautious and continue to watch the neighborhood very closely.

But for now, they’re just happy that the man accused of breaking into cars is behind bars.

According to police, Jimmy Norman is also believed to have committed about ten break-ins in another neighborhood.

Police say they believe Norman has been getting into cars for about a month now.

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