Campbell Co., VA - Officials are investigating a serious of break-ins widespread throughout three different localities - Lynchburg, Campbell and Bedford Counties. In some instances, people had their Christmas gifts taken right from their car.
According to authorities, the damage in Campbell County wasn't as widespread as in Bedford County and Lynchburg. Still, it's unwelcome. In some instances, the break-ins happened right in peoples' driveways.
A laptop, a bat, even Christmas gifts were all taken from an unlocked jeep. Investigator Brandon Epperson from the Campbell County Sheriff's Office has been on the trail collecting the stolen items.
Epperson says they found more than 100 items. They made arrests ranging in age from 19 to 21. Authorities charged the men with credit card theft and fraud and more charges could be coming.
Laura Knight, a Campbell County resident, says she felt unsafe when she heard about the break-ins.
Knight's teenage son had his car broken into right in their driveway. A GPS, a several hundred dollar hunting bow, even his school bookbag all got stolen.
She said at the time, the scariest thing was having his bookbag stolen.
"He had finals coming up in two weeks. His books, notes, everything was in the bookbag," said Knight.
But that's not the end of this break-in story. Turns out a neighbor found the bookbag here on Howard's Manor Drive. That's two miles away from where it was stolen.
"A couple had tracked us down. They found it laying at the dead end of their subdivision. And they called us and it was our Christmas miracle. So, he was very happy," said Knight.
It was a good ending. Still, the Knights refuse to be victims again, double-checking locks, even installing motion-sensor lights on their house.
Investigators say the Knight home has taken the right steps at the right time.
"We see rashes of them throughout the year, but this time of year, closer to the holidays, it seems to be worse," said Epperson.
And Knight has some words of wisdom for people"
"Lock your doors."
The next step for authorities is sorting through the more than 100 items stolen and getting them back to their rightful owners.