Police in Brooklyn Park are investigating several burglaries reported in the past few weeks, all of which happened during the overnight hours while homeowners were sleeping.
The burglaries were reported in two specific areas on the east side of Brooklyn Park, with most in the neighborhood bordered by 97th Ave. N. and Russell Ave. N., and the neighborhood between Brookdale Drive N. and 73rd Ave. N.
The most recent burglary happened on July 16. During that burglary, Rhonda Bitzer awoke to find the suspect inside of her home. The suspect grabbed a number of items -- including her purse -- and ran off.
"I screamed, 'You're in my house! You're in my house!'" Bitzer told FOX 9 News. "I hollered for my husband, then I ran downstairs after the man."
Bitzer said the thief got away with her purse, cell phones and her daughter's iPods.
"He was right next to the bed, taking it out of the docking station," she recalled, adding that her child was sleeping less than a foot away.
Police said in all of the cases the suspects broke into the homes through unsecured doors or windows.
"You feel very invaded. It was like being raped without someone touching you," Bitzer said.
No one was hurt, but no arrests have been made so far. Police are continuing to investigate these crimes, and investigators say they are worried the culprits may not stop -- and future victims may not be so lucky.
At a community meeting at Edinbrook Park on Tuesday night, officers warned residents about the disturbing pattern that has been seen at nine break-ins on the city's east side.
BURGLARY PREVENTION TIPS FROM BROOKLYN PARK POLICE
Brooklyn Park police offer free home premise surveys to guide residents on how to make homes safer. To schedule a survey or for more information, call 763-493-8277 or email Terry.Dehmer@brooklynpark.org