By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano

NORWOOD (CBS) – Police in Norwood are alerting residents about a rash of house breaks occurring throughout the town. Since January at least 20 homes have been targeted, more than 40 in the last six months. It’s enough that police have set up a map where they track the robberies daily looking for patterns.

“Every time there’s a roll call officers can see where the trends are,” said Lt. Peter Kelly who says plain clothes officers have stepped up patrols on the streets.

The break-ins are happening at an unusual time, around dusk, when it seems many residents would be home. It’s leading police to speculate the thieves may be watching their targets before they strike. “I can’t tell you what the draw is, but they’re picking houses unoccupied where there’s no risk of them being discovered,” said Lt. Kelly.

Thieves are often breaking in through rear windows, popping the locks. It happened to Jack Taylor on a day when he and his wife had just left their home to run some errands. The thief even helped himself to a ladder in a shed to help him climb in through the window. Once inside, he bolted for the second floor where jewelry was stolen, all in a matter of minutes. Taylor says not even a house alarm stopped him, and he had just left when police arrived.

“That takes a lot of guts,” he said. “I feel terrible, I feel terrible for the people who have to go through this,” he said. Police don’t know if the same person is responsible for the robberies, or if there’s more than one person at work. Not just jewelry, but electronics are also being taken.

“Trying to find a break in progress is like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” said Lt. Kelly. Police are sending fliers in the mail asking residents to be vigilant, report any suspicious activity, and to make their houses look “lived in” by leaving lights on.

“Do I want residents to have their awareness heightened to assist in catching them? Absolutely,” he said.


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