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DOWNEY - A criminal group is suspected of targeting Downey homes in a rash of recent residential burglaries, police said this week.
Police didn't say how many homes have been victimized but most of the burglaries occurred during the early evening hours.
Recent burglaries have targeted homes in northeast Downey although police officials warned all residents - regardless of their address - to be extra cautious.
The burglars have the same MO, police said: a person knocks at the front door. If someone answers, the suspect makes an excuse for being at the wrong house and leaves.
If no one answers, the suspect either leaves and returns a short time later or goes into the backyard.
"Once out of view of the street, he will look for open windows or doors to gain entry to the residence," police said. "If the house is locked, the burglar will oftentimes force entry by breaking a window or forcing a door open.
"A car with additional suspects will oftentimes wait a short distance away for the suspect to return with stolen property. The suspect may also call them to respond to the house to assist in the actual burglary of the location.
"The actions of the burglars are usually not visible from the street, making it difficult for police to discover the crime in progress. Because of this, it's imperative that residents in the area pay close attention to suspicious subjects in their neighborhood. This is especially true if you see someone knock on a door of a residence, then go to the back of the house when they fail to get an answer.
"If you see people in your neighborhood, whether they are walking or sitting in a vehicle, that you feel may be looking for an opportunity to commit a crime, please call the Downey Police Department immediately."
Residents who have questions regarding incidents such as these, or would like information regarding burglary prevention, should call Detective Jerry Price at (562) 904-2359 or Detective Mark Galindo at (562) 904-2326.
To provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting the letters TIPLA, plus your tip, to CRIMES (274637), or by using the web site http://lacrimestoppers.org.
Published: April 11, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 52