Elizabeth City police warn residents of increased break-ins

ELIZABETH CITY, Va. (WAVY) – The Elizabeth City Police Department is warning area residents about a recent rash of break-ins throughout the city.

Police in Elizabeth City say they have been receiving more reports of break-ins than they normally do. They say the suspects enter the homes through the back doors when the owners are gone. The suspects have also been breaking into vehicles in the area. The break-ins are happening during the day and night.

Since Aug. 1, the ECPD has received 78 reported break-ins, 50 commercial/residential and 28 vehicle break-ins. Lt. Mike Boone said the problems have been across the city and not in one particular area.

“It’s been very taxing on everyone,” he said. “We’ve got a limited amount of personnel for investigators right now and we’ve been working a lot of hours, running down a lot of leads, but we’re reaching out to other local law enforcement agencies for assistance … The items taken have varied from electronics, such as flat-screen TVs, game systems.”

Homeowner Leif Christianson said he came home from the grocery store on Monday morning and saw someone had busted in his door. He said he put down his groceries and went to get a softball bat.

“I play a lot of softball during the week and on the weekends and was just hoping I didn’t find anybody to have to use it on,” Christianson said.

He said the burglars didn’t take anything and didn’t leave anything behind. Crime scene investigators told him the burglars were wearing gloves and showed him glove prints, he said.

On Friday, Christianson had a security system installed in his home.

“It’s kind of creepy, kind of scary,” he said. “For about three days after coming home, you wonder if somebody’s going to be in your house when you come home.”

Police said they have increased patrols in the city and are working with the sheriff’s office and other local agencies. They plan to meet Monday to go over the list of stolen items. While officers have DNA and fingerprints from some of the crime scenes, they have not identified any suspects, Boone said.

“Please, if you see anything out of the ordinary, call the police. If you know your neighbor during the day is away at work and you see someone around the house, give us a call … We’re also asking the people to, all their personal belongings, such as TVs, electronics, if you would, please write down the serial numbers and keep those in a safe place,” Boone said.

If you know who may be behind these break-ins, call police.

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