Brooklyn Park Police are stepping up patrols on the city's eastside after a series of brazen home burglaries have occurred during the overnight hours while victims were asleep in their homes.
Since June 25, nine homes have been burglarized in two areas of the city's eastside. Police believe the suspect is getting in via unlocked doors or windows. Police believe the cases could be connected, no arrests have been made.
"Anytime we have suspects entering homes overnight and these homes are occupied that creates a very dangerous situation for people inside of these homes," said Brooklyn Park Police Inspector Todd Milburn.
Rhonda Bitzer awoke to the sound of her dog barking just before 2 a.m., July 16, and found a black man standing inside her home's main entryway.
"I had fallen asleep in the chair in the living room, the rest of my family was sleeping in their bedrooms," said Bitzer. "The first thought is you're in my house."
Bitzer chased the man outside, but she later learned he had gained access to the house through a back garage door and had gone through the home taking electronics and Bitzer's purse which contained a significant amount of cash. Bitzer said the cash was to be deposited at the bank Monday morning to pay her mortgage.
"We already were struggling before this happened, and it just makes it even worse," said Bitzer.
Police are reminding residents to make sure all doors are locked at night, and they're encouraging residents to call 911 if they spot anything suspcious or unusual in their neighborhood.
In response to the burglaries, police are holding a community meeting Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at Edinbrook Park (2900 Edinbrook Parkway) in Brooklyn Park.
To see a map of where the home burglaries happened, click here.
Alexandra Renslo reporting
Tuesday, July 17, 2012