Burglary leaves woman feeling 'shaken, violated'

Burglars caught on nearby business surveillance camera entering home


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman whose home was burglarized just after 9 a.m. Wednesday while she was at work said thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of her stuff and also took something irreplaceable: her family's peace of mind.

"I'm shaken. I felt violated," Shelly Mercer said.

A nearby business caught the burglars on camera.

"They pulled up as if they knew me, in the driveway," Mercer said, describing the video. "They were very comfortable."

The video shows one man getting out to knock on the front and side doors of the Lenox Avenue home, then signaling to his partner that the coast was clear. Both men then entered and burglarized the home for about 10 minutes.

They can be seen pulling the car around to load items worth at least $5,000, including a television, into the car.

"You can see slightly where they kicked in the door. There's a shoe mark," Mercer said.

She came home Wednesday afternoon to find her home had been ransacked. Her dressers were broken, along with her door and her son's DVDs, which were tossed around.

"TVs are gone. Laptops are gone. My son's Xbox is gone, and it's just a mess everywhere," Mercer said. "They went through my jewelry box. They seemed like they were in a bit of a hurry."

Mercer said her home was not the first in the neighborhood to be targeted by the thieves. She said she's just happy her children weren't home during the burglary.

"I'm scared. I'm born and raised here. This has never happened," Mercer said. "I have a 10-year-old and that concerns me, too. It's like, how do you teach them right from wrong and teach them how to trust and who not to trust?"

Mercer said the investigator looking into her case has made calls to pawn shops and is reviewing the surveillance video. She said she hopes the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has the technology to zoom in on the burglars' faces and license plate numbers.

For now, she remains hopeful the thieves will be caught.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.