Mother, children fearful after ATV stolen from yard in De Soto -

Mother, children fearful after ATV stolen from yard in De Soto

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DE SOTO, Mo. ( - A Jefferson County woman said when thieves targeted her house, they also stole her children's sense of security.

Ashley Wall felt uneasy coming home from soccer practice Monday night, finding thieves had stolen an ATV from her yard. Her eight and 12-year-old boys used it. Wall said she feels the thief also took her children's sense of safety in their own home, leaving them with fear.

"They don't care that the four-wheeler is gone. They're worried about somebody coming back and what else they're going to do, if they come into their home," Wall said. 

Captain Ron Arnhart with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said the reaction Wall and her family had is not unusual. Even if the loss is not a high-dollar theft, he said being a victim takes a toll - and he knows that personally.

"There's a lot of anger, there are a lot of different feelings that go with that," Arnhart said. "Being a victim myself at one time, I understand those feelings as well."

Wall said this is more than a lesson in taking steps to reduce her risks to becoming a victim.

"It makes me angry. It's hard. It's torture to try to teach your kids that it's okay to feel safe in their home, where they used to feel safe," Wall said.

Captain Arnhart said keeping homes and vehicles locked is key. He said neighbors who know each other are more likely to speak up if they see someone who does not live in the neighborhood and will call the police. 

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