Home burglaries prompt warning about leaving windows open

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Officers with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department are warning residents on the southeast side of the city to keep their windows closed and locked.

The warning comes after eleven home burglaries have been reported over the last three weeks. All but one of the burglaries have happened in the Willow Oaks subdivision, located off Franklin Road, near Raymond Street. Officers were distributing warning flyers in mailboxes to the roughly 200 homes in the neighborood.

“The individuals that were responsible for these burglaries were entering through open windows,” said IMPD Lt. Richard Riddle. “Windows that were left open by the homeowners at night.”

The burglaries have happened at night, sometimes when victims were in their homes asleep.

Open windows in the recent hot weather have provided plenty of opportunity for the burglars in the normally quiet subdivision.

Renee Douglas, who lives in the 7900 block of Willow Wind Circle, says her family don’t normally leave any windows open on their house. But when they did Monday night, they became one of the latest burglary victims.

“They took the screen out, threw it into the neighbor’s yard over the fence, and came in over the top of the couch here, and when they went out the back door,” Douglas said. “They didn’t take a thing.”

That may be because the burglar couldn’t quickly find what they were really looking for. Although some items like electronics and jewelry have been stolen, the burglars may be focused on stealing vehicles.

“We found a couple of instances where the individuals would steal purses that contain car keys, and vehicles were stolen as a result of that,” Riddle said.

Lucky for Douglas, her keys were located upstairs where she and her family were sleeping when the burglar broke in. But some of her neighbors have not been so fortunate.

“One family didn’t even know that they were in the house until they heard the garage door go up and the car pull out,” Douglas said.

Police say there haven’t been any confrontations between homeowners and suspects. But a couple victims have caught a glimpse of a suspect.

Based on those descriptions, as well as fingerprints and other evidence, investigators say they have positively identified one suspect. They also have an idea of one or two other possible suspects. Police do not want to release any suspect information while the search is ongoing.

Officers with IMPD’s Southeast District are planning to hold rollcall in the Willow Oaks subdivision this weekend. That will allow them to show a heavy presence in the area, and talk to residents about keeping their doors and windows locked.