PARADISE VALLEY, AZ - The quiet and beautiful town of Paradise Valley is seeing an ugly side; burglaries are double what they were one year ago.
Paradise Valley police say burglars are throwing large rocks through windows on the backsides of homes to get inside and steal.
"We were out of town. We were gone about four hours prior to getting a phone call that our house had been broken into," an anonymous Paradise Valley resident and father of four said.
The man told ABC15 thieves smashed their way into his home while his family was away; looting jewelry and everything of value they could quickly find.
"You kinda get the wind knocked out of ya’. It's disturbing, and I've got four young kids that knew what had happened," he said.
Inside the Paradise Valley Police Department, detectives have marked on a map every break-in since January 1st. There are twice as many as this time last year.
Residents say the thieves don’t seem to be afraid of home security systems.
"The alarm goes off, it goes to the security company, the security company calls the house, they proceed to call the police, and police have to dispatch it. By the time the police officer gets out here it's probably 6 to 8 minutes," said the father of four.
That’s more than enough time for crooks to take what they want and get away clean.
Some Paradise Valley citizens are arming themselves with guns. A warning on one home reads, "anyone uninvited will be met with lethal force."
"I don't know what else to do. I think about [the crime] all the time, and there's not a simple solution," the homeowner said.
Paradise Valley officials say they have formed a task force to solve the burglary problem.
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