Police are stepping up patrols after a string of break-ins in Newton, Massachusetts.
Officials say the thieves are often accessing homes through unlocked windows on the first or second floor.
“It was a surprise to be downstairs and learn you house was robbed while you were sitting in your TV room,” said one of the victims who did not want to be identified.
The suspects apparently climbed up the house and got in through a window.
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“I discovered it when I walked upstairs and saw the bathroom window wide open,” said the woman.
Several pieces of jewelry were taken.
“It’s painful,” she said. “You lose your sense of confidence in your own home.”
Hers wasn’t the only home burglarized on Friday.
Newton police say seven homes were broken into along the border between Newton Center and Newton Highlands.
Investigators believe the same people could be responsible.
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“I’m petrified,” said Eileen Bornstein, who lives in the targeted neighborhood.
Bornstein says she’s seen a suspicious car in the neighborhood for weeks with two men inside.
She believes they may have been scoping out people’s homes and their habits.
“They were like slick-looking, like on TV, they could rob a bank and get away with it,” she said. “They didn’t belong here.”
Over the last several weeks, there have been 10 other break-ins in Newton, many in the same part of the city.
Police are urging people to lock doors and windows, and remove things like ladders in the yard that criminals could use to help them get inside.