ASHEBORO, NC -- Some people in Asheboro are on high alert after their neighborhood has become a continuous target for thieves.
Randolph County detectives say there's been an increase in car-break-ins over the last month and a half in the Nolen Avenue neighborhood.
Now, neighbors like Mark Dixon are worried about the safety of their homes.
Three times in the last year, Dixon says he’s been a car break-in victim.
Thieves stole $350 from his wife's purse and stole a gun from his son's car.
Dixon says he carries his gun with him at all times just to be safe.
“I’m just always carrying because I’m afraid something will happen,” said Dixon. “I want to be ready just to protect my family and protect myself and protect those around me. You never know when a bad guy is going to step out with a gun and start shooting. I want to be prepared.”
Dixon says he worries about leaving his wife home alone, especially when the couple’s five grandchildren are visiting.
“I get less sleep, that's for sure. I get a whole lot less sleep,” said Dixon. “Now, when I'm off, I should be sleeping but I'll stay up during the night just to try to keep an eye on things.”
Dixon isn’t the only one losing sleep.
Within one mile of Dixon's house, six other victims have reported car break-ins in the last month and a half.
Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves says they've increased patrols in the area in strategic positions.
“When we see an uptick of things, we try to study it,” said Graves. “Instead of just sending people out haphazardly to try to answer calls, we want to figure out what's going on, what's causing it, and try to address that.”
Dixon started a community watch group on Facebook so neighbors can keep each other informed.
“We have neighbors taking videos, pictures, reporting what they see, letting everybody in the group know,” said Dixon.
He’s also set up trail cameras in the trees of his front yard to try to catch the bad guys in the act.
“We're praying that things will change and we can live in peace and raise our families and sleep good at night,” said Dixon.
Sheriff Graves believes the suspects in the break-ins could also be involved in drug activity.
So far, detectives have made two arrests but they haven't been able to find a connection between the different break-ins.