A recent string of burglaries in a Prince William County, Va., neighborhood has the community on alert.
“They tried to break [the glass] and they noticed I have a dead bolt [on my door] with a key and I always pull my key out at night just in case,” said Lake Ridge resident Mario Solis. “So he gave up. He knows he can’t get in anyway and went next door.”
Solis considers himself the lucky one, but Monday afternoon, two of his neighbors on Oakwood Drive were not as fortunate. In fact, since Dec. 16, Prince William County police believe one or two men robbed at least 12 homes in Lake Ridge. All within a two-mile radius with a total loss of more than $60,000in valuables.
“They all seem to be occurring during the day while homeowners are at work,” said Prince William County police Officer Jonathan Perok. “Jewelry seems to be the main target.”
Police said in most of these cases the burglars are not going through the front door, instead going around back finding a utility door to kick in. But authorities said the burglars have also been picking up bricks and rocks to throw through glass sliding doors.
has not been targeted, but he has ordered a metal bar to stick behind his back door to prevent himself from becoming the next victim.
“It sticks underneath the lock and connects to the floor,” said Najjun, who lives on Oakwood Drive. “That will stop anyone from kicking in the door.”
Police said it’s also important to lock all your doors, activate the alarm system if you have one, and get to know your neighbors so they can be on the lookout as well.
If there is a next time, Solis is not taking any chances.
“I’ve been thinking about now putting surveillance on [my home],” he said. “So even if they get in I have a face that I can show somebody."
That would be helpful. Because the suspects strike when no one is home, there isn't a good description of them. They are believed to be two men in their 20s driving an old, boxy, tan car.
If you see anything suspicious you are asked to immediately contact Prince William County police.
Fan, Follow and Text: Get the latest from NBCWashington.com anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Sign up for our e-mail newsletters and get breaking news delivered right to your mobile phone -- just text DCBREAKING to 622339 to sign up. (Message and data rates may apply.)
Published at 6:50 PM EDT on Jan 5, 2011