Virginia Beach home hit by thieves twice as homeowner tries to get back on their feet

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Thalia section of the Resort City is quaint and quiet, but homeowner Ann Kelley says her Virginia Beach home has now been the scene of two crimes.

Kelley's home was damaged in an electrical fire and has been undergoing renovations. On two separate occasions, thieves have taken advantage of the home's vulnerability.

"The first time it was the workman who lost property. The second time it was our property that was stolen out of the shed," Kelley said.

Very close to the Target at Pembroke Mall, the home should be move-in ready next week, so in the meantime Kelley is keeping an eye out as she lives temporarily right next door.

"I'll catch myself getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of night wondering if there is someone over there going through my stuff," said Kelley, who installed motion-sensor, solar-powered lights to the back of the property to light up a dark section of her yard where someone could hide.

Kelley acknowledged it can be hard to know your neighbors with so many people moving in and out of the area all the time. She said the best way to protect yourself is to take precautions before the project begins.

"I would have taken precautions up front, I would have. I would have if I realized it was an issue."

Her advice to you?

"Don’t leave anything on the property that you're not willing to get rid of or lose, because people will walk away with anything they can sell," she said.

Related: Burglar steals electronics, 'sentimental' items from Norfolk home 

Virginia Beach Police have a report from one of the burglaries, and if you know anything about the stolen tools, call police.

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