More than a dozen homes in Redlands have been targeted by burglars since the beginning of the September.
“Do I feel violated? Yes, I feel violated. Irritated more than anything,” one neighbor named Dave said.
Police said the burglars are often breaking their way into these homes through sliding glass doors at the rear of the house.
Once they’re in, they take valuables like safes, high-end purses and jewelry, often while the residents are out of the house or on vacation.
“In all but one of these cases, nobody was home when they were broken into. One of the residents was on vacation but had somebody at their residence who interrupted the burglary,” said Redlands Police Chief Chris Catren.
In response, police are alerting Redlands residence to a program called While You’re Away, which has been in place since 2013.
“It allows people to get a GPS tracker placed in their house while they’re gone, so these are motion-activated trackers, so that you can put it on or in an electronic device, or in the case of the current burglary series, we’re getting a lot of purses,” Catren said. “As soon as the item is moved, a loud disturbing noise happens in our dispatch center that alerts the dispatchers that one of these items has moved. We’ll quickly identify which one it is and then, they go to a map on their computer system and it’ll start tracking exactly where that device is going.”
Officers are then deployed to find the device, Catren added.