‘The criminals have control’: Residents frustrated with LMPD ‘no pursuit policy’ after thefts in Norton Commons, Glen Oaks (2024)

By Noelle Friel

Published: Jun. 5, 2024 at 10:45 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In what’s normally a quiet, tight-knit community, residents of Norton Commons say their sense of security has been taken away by repeated break-ins.

Residents say their neighborhood has been repeatedly targeted, and the thefts and break-ins have gradually become more frequent. One security video given to WAVE News shows a group of men who appear to be armed trying to open the back door of a home.

The homeowner, who asked not to be identified, says the men in the video also broke into their cars and garage.

“We like to think we’re a casual, tight community and don’t always need to lock our car doors, but this has been a strong reminder that we do need to be extra vigilant,” said Norton Commons resident Kelley Magnuson.

Magnuson showed us her own security video, which shows the same group of people in the same car repeatedly targeting the same area.

She says it’s terrifying never knowing who will be targeted next.

“It’s really scary,” Magnuson said. “Nobody wants to feel like they’re vulnerable or that their home could be the one to get hit. It really has been random with who’s getting hit and it’s people that have their doors locked and they’re finding ways to get in.”

Magnuson says neighbors have had to start diligently reviewing their security footage, looking for any consistencies that could help identify the thieves.

“Every single night, we’ll look at the night and morning to see if we can identify anything that is super consistent so we can all be aware of what’s going on in our surroundings,” Magnuson said.

The nearby neighborhood of Glen Oaks has also been repeatedly targeted.

Residents Brett and Amanda King tell WAVE News their daughter’s car was stolen right out of their driveway two weeks ago. That car would end up being recovered at the scene of a homicide that took place near Victory Park last week and has now been taken into evidence.

“It was stolen with a stolen car that was in a locked garage, so the whole thing of keep your doors locked, keep your keys away from the car, it doesn’t matter,” Amanda said. “We have security. We have cameras leaving the neighborhood. We have rings. We have spotlights. We have everything. It doesn’t matter.”

Fast forward to Tuesday night, the couple says they caught a group stealing another car from their street. At first, they say they were unsure if it was a theft taking place. After calling 911, they learned the car had been reported stolen.

When they reported it to police, they say they were told LMPD’s “no pursuit policy” makes it difficult to catch these kinds of thieves in the act.

Under the policy, LMPD can’t pursue a vehicle unless the person has committed a violent felony.

“We’ve talked to so many police officers. Every one of them have the same thing to say,” Brett said. “We’re doing all we can, but we really can’t do anything. We can’t chase. We can’t pursue. We can’t go after them the way it needs to be done because our hands are tied.”

Out of frustration, Amanda posted two signs at the entrance to the neighborhood – one saying “Criminals welcome: Take what you want. The police can’t chase you” and the other saying “Mayor Greenberg, let the police help.”

The signs were quickly taken down, but she says she wanted to make other homeowners aware of the situation.

“I want to prepare myself – like if I really need something, this is the help I’m getting and I can choose to be here or I can choose to move,” Amanda said.

“They feel invincible, at least to us, from our perspective it feels like the criminals have control,” Brett said.

LMPD tells WAVE their 8th division is aware of the uptick in break-ins and have focused patrols in the area. Police say the majority of the cars that have had items stolen from them have been left unlocked and encourage residents to always lock their cars before dark.

LMPD’s other tips for residents include:

  • Don’t leave valuable items in your car overnight if you can help it. (laptops, golf clubs, electronics, money in plain sight, backpacks, etc.)
  • Lock your cars. Thieves take the easiest opportunity first and an unlocked car is an easy target.
  • If you see a person/people acting suspiciously, say something – call 574-7111, if it’s an emergency or crime in progress call 911.
  • Don’t try to apprehend thieves yourself.
  • Private video systems are a huge help to investigators – cooperatively sharing videos oftentimes makes a difference between crimes being solved and remaining unsolved.

Copyright 2024 WAVE. All rights reserved.

‘The criminals have control’: Residents frustrated with LMPD ‘no pursuit policy’ after thefts in Norton Commons, Glen Oaks (2024)
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