BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore County Police Department is searching for a group of thieves who have been breaking into homes, sometimes while families are inside.

Police say nearly 20 homes have been hit, with the crooks striking in the late afternoon/evening hours.

Police also believe these calculated crooks were monitoring their victim’s every move before striking.

The houses these suspects hit are large, and the streets are usually quiet.

“They’re looking for larger homes, more expensive homes in secluded areas,” said Baltimore Co. PD Corporal Shawn Vinson.

Baltimore County police say it’s a perfect mix for thieves in a recent rash of home break-ins.

Since October, investigators say bold thieves have busted into 18 homes from Pikesville, to Timonium, to Towson.

The thieves have stolen cash, jewelry, and even safes.

‘It’s news to me, and it’s rather disturbing,” said Paul Hoffman, who lives near one of the houses that was burglarized. “Glad we have an alarm system, and we’ll be using it extensively.”

Detectives say on at least two occasions, the suspect made their move while families were inside, though no one was hurt.

The victims reported at least one suspect was carrying a gun.

“Because the suspects are doing similar things during the crimes, we feel pretty certain these are the same suspects,” Vinson said.

Investigators say the group typically strikes from 4 to 8 p.m., and they believe the group has been watching their victim’s every move before moving in.

Police are now hoping to find the group before their string of terror escalates.

Hoffman hopes it’s soon.

“I think it means that there’s a problem, which they’re addressing hopefully,” he said.

Police say they are looking through video from some homeowners for closures in the case.

Officers also plan to meet with people in the area to answer questions and address concerns.

Anyone with information on the crimes are urge to give police a call.

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