Muncie police look to solve dozens of daytime burglaries

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Police in Muncie are warning residents after a new rash of daytime home burglaries that may be connected. There may have been at least a dozen burglaries in recent weeks on the city's northwest side.

Muncie police say the burglars may actually park somewhere and put a house under surveillance to make sure no one is home before going in.

"They came in that gate," said Jeanne Everett, pointing to the back of her house.

The burglar then got into the home by forcing open a patio door. The family was away, but when they got home, Everett says, "the drawers were all

pulled out. It's upsetting for me to talk about."

They took valuables and tried to take a flat screen TV, but left it by the front door. Everett thinks she interrupted them.

"Thank goodness," she said.

A few minutes' drive away, burglars entered Conrad Lane's house through a family room window. Lane says they smashed the window with a piece of concrete from a garden border.

Police tell Eyewitness News some of the break-ins have been through the back of the house, where the bad guys may not be easily spotted by someone driving by.

"I've never had a diamond earring before and I don't have any at all," Martha Lane said.

Her jewelry was all taken just as in the 11 other similar break-ins, plus cash.

"I had a locket given to me when I was 9 or 10 by my parents and my baby picture was in it. It was silver," Martha Lane said.

The thieves also took a collection of small pins.

"They were my mother's," she said. "You can't replace those things. They weren't expensive."

Conrad Lane advises others to "make sure whatever security system you have is activated. We did not turn ours on. We felt safe, we were just at the doctors."

Nearby, someone kicked in the VanDenBooms' garage door at the front of the house while they were gone Tuesday.

"All the drawers were open, all the jewelry gone," said Dick VanDenBoom.

The flat screen though is on the bedroom floor, its screen shattered. VanDenBoom thinks he surprised the bad guy, who then smashed it with his knee while running away.

VanDenBoom says it's a good thing they didn't meet.

"I don't know which of us would have gotten hurt. I won't tell you what I was thinking at the time," he said.

Call Muncie Police Detectives if you have information on the dozen daytime break-ins over the last couple weeks, or call Muncie Crime Stoppers at 765-747-4806 and you could qualify for a reward.