Suspects ransack East Memphis home while family sleeps, get caught by using stolen items

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A gun, jewelry, laptops and more were all taken from an East Memphis family while they slept inside their home.

Police arrested several suspects in connection to the crime.

The Hill family didn’t hear anything despite having working alarms in their house along with two dogs.

“We were all asleep -- two dogs and one fish," said victim Tom Hill.

They asked us not to identify their specific neighborhood, but multiple people were arrested for breaking into their East Memphis house just days before Christmas.

“First thing I noticed was my closet seemed to be somewhat disheveled," said Hill.

He later found a gun, watches, jewelry, laptops and more were all missing -- Even wrapped presents from under their tree.

“We were perplexed," he said. "We couldn’t figure out what, why, how they’d been in the house because the alarm was still set.”

But then a rug gave it away, slightly off its usual position.

“That’s when we put two and two together," said Hill.

The suspects had come in through the doggy door.

Hill said police told him the suspects admitted to casing the place earlier.

“You feel violated. I can’t figure out why my dog didn’t wake up, I’m disappointed in him. And then you get angry, but you’re glad you’re safe at the same time.”

And also glad police arrested the suspects so quickly.

Hill said they got caught by using the very items they stole.

“They used our online accounts on Amazon [and] used our money. I’ve told others that Find My iPhone cracked the case pretty quickly.”

Now he puts a panel over the dog door and said he’s thankful everything turned out the way it did.

“I’m glad in a way that I slept through it," said Hill. "Honestly if I had woken up, one of them wouldn’t still be here. I keep a loaded shotgun under the bed just for those purposes.”

Hill recommends registering location services on your technology and keeping dog doors covered at night.

Five suspects have been named on this case, but police haven’t yet given us the latest details on their charges or ages.