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HOUSTON -- Residents of the Heights are no strangers to burglaries and home break-ins, but what s being taken in recent months is raising eyebrows.

Some neighbors say anything left out in the open, no matter what the value, has become fair game to crooks. In some cases, it also seems there s not much stopping them from going inside the house.

Joan wants you to hear what happened to her.

It s just crazy, she said.

While Joan was with her elderly mother at the hospital, a burglar climbed through her kitchen window near 8th and Oxford.

They did not take the traditional things like TVs or laptops or anything like that, said Joan.

The criminals took some of what you might expect -- like expensive jewelry. Also stolen was a list of family keepsakes, including her late father s WWII pins, medals and ring.

I m going to get you one way or another. I m not going to take it sitting down, she said. I will fight back.

Joan wasn t hopeful that police would catch the culprit so she started a little investigation of her own. She s scoured pawn shops and also the web.

She believes she has found some of the stolen items on eBay, and says police are now looking into that.

Someone tampers with me, they don t want to do it again, she added. You got one hot woman who s been a victim, but she will take back the streets.

She s not alone.

Of course you don t want to do anything dangerous, said homeowner Adam Pearson.

Adam Pearson was in his home office earlier this week, near Studewood Street and White Oak Drive, when he saw a man snatch his gardener s leaf blower from his front lawn.

I saw the guy pull up, and it was very fast. He came up, stopped, pulled up, grabbed the blower and he was gone, explained Pearson.

Pearson wasn t willing to accept what had happened. He chased the car onto I-10 and followed it for about five miles.

[They were] driving an Audi A4, not something I would ve expected, he said.

The car slipped away, but Pearson managed to take down the license plate.

He later found out that the thief stole a second leaf blower from the gardener s trailer.

Police say it always helps to have a serial number when investigating a theft. However, neighbors say that s just not possible for many of the items being stolen.

[They were] driving an Audi A4, not something I would ve expected, he said.

The car slipped away, but Pearson managed to take down the license plate.

He later found out that the thief stole a second leaf blower from the gardener s trailer.

Police say it always helps to have a serial number when investigating a theft. However, neighbors say that s just not possible for many of the items being stolen.

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