NEWTON, Kan. – A “warning” tonight from Newton Police: Watch out for a serial burlgar targeting homes in that community.
The break-in’s are happening while the victims are sleeping in their homes.
KSN took a closer look at this string of burlgaries and spoke to residents who are now very concerned.
The burgaries have escalated over the past few weeks. So far, police have received reports with eight known offenses. But a review of prowler calls in the last few months show an additional 16 calls of attempted aggravated burglaries. And police say there very well could be more.
It starts with a knock and a doorbell ring.
Police say the prowler then checks the door and attempts to open it. In each successful burglary, the suspect finds an open back door or garage door then enters the residence.
“It’s very uncommon,” said Newton Resident Adolflo Ibarra. “I mean, you hear little cases here and there, but nothing ever big like serial burglary like that, so it’s kind of scary.”
Authorities believe the offender is only going after purses and backpacks which are typically found the next morning outside of the residence with any cash that might have been inside gone.
“I think people are going to get scared,” said former Newton resident Cheryl Warkentin.
“Usually, when you hear a burglary, you hear for them to wait when everyone has left the house, but know this, that they actually wait on everyone to knock on your door, doing it even though you’re there, is kind of scary,” said Ibarra.
“Very scary, but you don’t want to not answer your door, because what if it’s a friend or relative who needs your help,” said Warkentin.
Folks are shocked by these brazen break in’s in a small town like Newton.
Newton Police say there are several things citizens can do to protect themselves and their property.
First, police say homes and vehicles should be locked and secured since the suspect looks for easy targets.
Second, officers say anyone who may have been a victim of the burglaries should notify law enforcement. This will allow Newton Police to look for patterns in the suspect’s behavior that will help them develop a plan to apprehend the burglar.
Third, police say neighbors should look out for one another. CItizens are asked to let their neighbors know if they have left their garage door up or car or exterior doors unlocked.
Finally, citizens should call 9-1-1 as soon as possible if they see suspicious activity or persons in their neighborhood.
Map of areas of Newton affected by the serial burglar.