Reporting Gigi Barnett
HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)– A dire warning to Howard County residents as police are tracking a string of home robberies.
As Gigi Barnett reports, investigators say the brazen crimes happen in the middle of the day.
Over a three-day span, Howard County police say the burglar struck 10 homes in Ellicott City, Columbia and Elkridge.
“In every case, we’ve got someone kicking in a locked door, oftentimes the front door of a residence,” said Sherry Llewellyn, spokeswoman for the Howard County Police Department.
Once inside, investigators say the thief snatched everything he could. Homeowners have lost jewelry, electronics and cash.
And in every case, the burglar has the same method of determining if someone is home.
“We believe that this particular suspect is knocking on doors to determine whether or not the resident is home. When the resident is not there, he then kicks the door in to make entry,” Llewellyn said.
But police say if someone answers, he makes up a flimsy excuse and runs off. Now, investigators want those neighbors to come forward.
“Those are the people that we want to talk to, the people who may not have thought much about that at the time, but who might be able to give us a good description of the person who knocked on their door,” Llewellyn said.
“I just don’t understand why anybody hasn’t seen this guy,” said John Tugwell. “He’s doing it in broad daylight.”
Police say the burglar hit seven homes in one day last week.
John and Donna Tugwell say they’re heard about the break-ins and their home is secure.
“I think they’ll catch him soon now that it’s been publicized,” Donna Tugwell said.
Howard County investigators say there are several things homeowners can do to protect their property: First, use a strong and secure deadbolt. Secondly, use a safe well-hidden in the house to hide your valuables.
Detectives say the thief has also hit homes in Clarksville and Woodbine.