SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KTVU) - San Rafael is warning homeowners to double check that they've secured their homes following a surge in home burglaries.
At least 14 burglaries have been reported in the last four weeks. Most of them are in the same neighbored.
Police located a pillowcase loaded with jewelry in the Terra Linda neighborhood, believed to have been dropped by the burglars, who have been watching houses before breaking in.
Manou, a burglary victim in that neighborhood, came home to find her little dog hiding.
"I found the dog under the bed and the computer was gone and the jewelry was gone, and they had ransacked the house," Manou told KTVU.
She was one of the first to have her home burglarized. Her sliding glass door was broken so the thieves could get inside the house while she was out.
"They watch and I don't know how. But I think they know when people go to work."
Police believe the burglars are watching homes to see when residents leave, then they break in. Almost always between 9 a.m. and noon.
San Rafael police are urging residents to activate alarms if they have them, but more importantly, look around as they leave each day.
"That's usually what cracks these types of cases is somebody calls and says hey I see a car that I haven't seen before," Sgt. Justin Graham of the San Rafael Police tells KTVU.
Another victim says burglars climbed over his trash cans to hop his fence. The burglars then headed to an open bathroom window, which they manipulated to open, so they could get inside the home.
"They're pretty quick about it. They grab a pillow case and fill the pillowcase with whatever they're looking for... electronics, jewelry, and they're gone," says Barry Forest, a victim of the thieves.
Neighborhood discussions are full of talk about whether to be armed or not, against a burglar.
Detectives have leads, but nothing that connects the dots. Home security video or a license plate would really help investigators. In the meantime, police have stepped up daytime patrols.