METHUEN — Police have increased patrols in the Haverhill Street area near the Lawrence line in response to a string of house burglaries and break-in attempts - some while residents were home.
The incidents occurred over the last two weeks on Madison Street and Glen, Avon and Cypress avenues.
In several instances, a burglar or burglars entered through an unlocked door while residents were home, police said.
Police have no suspects but are conducting extra patrols and undercover work in the area. Officers also recently knocked on doors in the neighborhood, urging residents to report suspicious activities and take simple precautions to protect their homes.
“Lock your doors and lock your windows when you’re going to bed,” said police Chief Joseph Solomon yesterday. “We’re actively working the area.”
Solomon said police are concerned the robber or robbers are brazen enough to enter homes with people inside.
“They’re just asking for a confrontation,” said Solomon. “That’s where people get hurt.”
The most recent break occurred Monday evening at 5 Avon Ave., a dead-end off Glen Avenue. A $400 video game system and $350 laptop computer were reported stolen from the first floor while occupants were elsewhere inside.
The first break occurred the night of Sept. 25 at 15 Madison St. The homeowner told police he was sitting in his living room with wife, son and dog when they heard the back door open. The homeowner got up and spotted a man entering the kitchen before chasing him away. Also that night, a neighbor told police the same man attempted to enter her home minutes before but the door was locked.
The next day, Sept. 26, a resident at 48 Cypress Ave., reported his $200 cell phone was stolen overnight from his living room. The man told police another phone had been stolen from the residence about a week before.
The string of incidents continued Sept. 28 when a resident of 9 Glen Ave. reported a $400 laptop and Nikon camera were stolen from a living room coffee table while two young occupants were in the basement playing video games.
The resident said it was likely the suspect or suspects entered the home through an unlocked side door, according to a police report.
On Oct. 4, residents of 25 Madison St. prevented a burglary when they heard their door open early in the morning. The residents got up and spotted an unknown man in their home before he ran away. The incident was reported to police at 3:40 a.m.
The residents described the man as 5 foot, 6 inches with stocky build and round face, and wearing baseball hat and sweatshirt.
Anyone with information on the breaks is asked to call Detective Tom McMenamon at 978-983-8758.