COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - There were about 200 more burglaries in the city of Columbus, this time last year in 2014, totaling to 1,496. However, it seems those committing the act are getting more creative in their ways to burglarized a home and steal your stuff.
A homeowner in north Columbus says someone broke into their home between July 20 to July 27 in an unexpected way.
Philip Stephens says he's lived in the same home for almost four decades and never had any problems. But recently, someone came in and stole thousands of dollars' worth of items he would like to have back, and they are hoping someone has information that can help.
After a week away for a family vacation, Philip Stephens and his wife returned to their Whitesville Road home Monday to find the burglar alarm was chirping, meaning it was already deactivated.
"We knew something was wrong at that time. So we noticed some doors back here that were opened that were not supposed to be," said Phillip.
Searching their Columbus home, they discovered someone had snatched six firearms from the gun cabinet in their den, leaving it completely empty.
"Antique, like a civil war rifle and a double barrel that was from my great-granddaddy and a Henry rifle that my wife had gotten me for a Christmas present," Phillip said.
Also inside the same room, they turned and noticed a huge hole in the floor.
"Very surprising to have a hole in your playroom floor," said Phillip.
The police report states there was no forced entry into the home, but it is believed someone got in through the basement on the side of the house.
It's possible they used some type of tool to cut a whole through the bottom of the den floor from the basement, giving them access to the rest of the home.
The burglary didn't end there. With no cameras inside, Stephens says the motion detector came on once the perpetrator entered the hallway, making their way up the stairs to the couple's bedroom, and stealing about $15,000 worth of jewelry.
"They didn't take any of these out. They were in a hurry, but took these four right here and throwed them on the floor," said Phillip.
After living in the home for 38 years, the couple wants peace of mind and the burglar caught by Columbus police.
"They didn't find any fingerprints other than they think it was somebody that knew we were going to be on vacation and not here. We're disappointed that they would take from us and do this. A lot of this is stuff you can't replace," added Stephens.
Stephens is offering $1,000 of his personal money for information that will lead to an arrest and conviction of the burglar.
If you plan to leave town, the Columbus Police Department says you can put your home on a watch list for criminal activity. The Burglary and Theft Division says from January to June 2015, there's been 1,298 burglaries throughout the city.
Call Columbus police at 706-653-3231 if you have any information on this case.