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Home of soldier serving in Afghanistan burglarized twice in one week

By Craig Johnson
Special to CNN
"It's heartbreaking that ... somebody can do something like this," Master Sgt. Sylvia Simmons says of the burglaries.
"It's heartbreaking that ... somebody can do something like this," Master Sgt. Sylvia Simmons says of the burglaries.
  • Twice thieves have broken into the home of Master Sgt. Sylvia Simmons
  • Personal items, including credit cards were stolen from her home in Henry County, Georgia
  • Stolen items totaled more than $15,000, according to a police report
  • Fitting punishment? Put them in the combat zone, Simmons suggested
  • Burglary
  • Afghanistan
  • Armed Forces

(CNN) -- Police are looking for burglars who hit the home of a soldier deployed in Afghanistan twice within a week.

Master Sgt. Sylvia Simmons said several personal items, including credit cards allegedly used at three Lowe's stores around Atlanta, were stolen from her home in Henry County, Georgia.

"It's heartbreaking that we're over there serving and somebody can do something like this," Simmons said.

Thieves stole items totaling more than $15,000 from Simmons' home, according to a police report.

Police have released surveillance video taken from the Lowe's stores showing burglary suspects using stolen credit cards.

Henry County police Capt. Jason Bolton called the incident "especially galling," according to WSB-TV.

"With the victim being a soldier currently stationed in Afghanistan, it's especially galling to the detectives that we have a soldier that's overseas putting her life on the line defending our country and she's being victimized here back home," Bolton said, according to WSB.

Simmons said the break-ins took some sentimental items that can't be replaced. "I was devastated you know, because it's the little things, the grandfather's dog tags, you know, my mother's wedding band."

Simmons' daughter, Traci Pate, reported the break-ins in August when she arrived to check on the home, according to the police report.

"She noticed that someone had torn the plywood from the rear door of the residence," the police report said of the second burglary. "[T]he rear door was the point of entry on the first burglary," the police report stated.

Attempts by CNN to reach Pate over the past two days were unsuccessful.

Simmons has been in the Army National Guard for 30 years, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Simmons said she wants the suspects brought to justice, but not in the traditional way.

"For me instead of putting them in prison I think what we ought to do is put them in full battle rattle, put them in the combat zone over there so they can fear for their life every minute."