Homes left without power burglarized by thieves

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As many homes in Memphis remain without power, thieves are beginning to target those homes left in the dark.

At least eight burglaries have happened in the last 24 hours. Thieves are even using the homes' damage to their advantage.

A large tree came crashing down on Amber Dipaola and her husband's home, and the thieves used the damage to the roof to get inside the house.

"I'm very thankful I wasn't home," Dipaola sad.

The family has now placed a tarp over portions of their roof that was damaged when the tree fell on it.

Memphis Police Department said it appears a burglar accessed the home through the hole in the roof and stole from the couple. It is the couple's first home.

"I'm OK now, but I do want others to be safe and be on guard," Dipaola said. "My TV was gone, my purse, our weapon."

After the burglar forced his way inside the home through her roof and snatched her stuff, he simply walked out the front door.

Dipaola is now warning others who have homes left without power.

"Take your stuff, your guns, purses, TV, jewelry, anything that you don't want anyone else to have. Get it," Dipaola said.

Police said if you are leaving your homes vacant while the power is out, lock it up and be alert.

"I just kind of felt violated when somebody comes in and takes something like that's mine," Dipaola said.

She said she forgives whoever broke into their home. She and her husband are now staying with family and they're counting their blessings.

"I believe he's going to work this out for us and I'm glad it happened now versus when we first got married because that would have been really scary for us moving in and just starting our lives together," she said.

7-year-old child's clothes, toys stolen

After her home was still without power, one woman said she became the victim when a thief broke into her home. Among the items gone were things that belonged to her 7-year-old son.

Marquita Turner said her home in the 2000 block of Wabash Avenue was broken into sometime between midnight and 3 p.m. Thursday.

"Words can't explain. It's heartbreaking," Turner said.

Turner said she had been staying with her sister because the power in her home was out due to the storm. She told police she came to check on her home at midnight and then she left. Turner said she returned to her home at 3 p.m. that afternoon and found her her front door was kicked in.

She said her home was ransacked and multiple items were stolen, including furniture, toddler clothes, her 7-year-old son's toys, and electronics.

"They stole all of his [7-year-old] clothes, his shoes, toys," Turner said. "He's upset because all of his things are gone and it's hard to explain to a 7-year-old what happened to all his things and why someone came into our house and took things that didn't belong to them."

She said the family was stripped of everything in their home.

"Air fresheners, tables, you think of it, they took it all, TVs to microwaves - everything," Turner said. "We basically have nothing. Only thing left is my living room furniture," she said.

Turner said the hardest part of the entire thing is trying to explain to her son what happened.

"He's hurting because he loves his toys, he loves his things, and they just took it all away," Turner said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family. If you would like to donate to the family, click here. 

Memphis Police Department said extra patrols are working overtime in certain areas without power to try and keep homes safe.

Police said if you are leaving your home vacant right now until power is restored, lock your house and check on your home regularly. They also said if you will be gone for a long time that you need to take valuable items with you.

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