GREENSBORO, NC -- Police in Greensboro are sending out a warning to residents: Make sure your windows are locked!
Detectives with GPD are looking for the suspect (or suspects) who inappropriately touched four female students while they were sleeping in their beds!
Detectives say thieves have used an unlocked window to break in to 28 houses near UNCG in just the last two months!
While many of the cases have been linked through investigation, detectives are hesitant to say that all of the cases are connected.
Police say these are crimes of opportunity -- that can easily be avoided -- by locking up and staying alert.
UNCG junior, Kelsey Fields, knows the importance of that first hand.
Two weeks after Fields moved in to her new college apartment in the Campus Crossing complex, someone tried to break in through her living room window!
"It was the middle of the night. It was super late and I heard my window sliding and I thought ‘Ugh. It's super late. I'm probably going crazy,’” said Fields.
But she wasn't going crazy. She had forgotten to lock her windows and someone was trying to take advantage of that.
"I kept hearing it,” said Fields. “So I got up out of my bed and I went to the window and I looked out and someone was running!"
She scared the intruder off just in time.
“Ah! Thank the Lord,” said Fields with a smile. “That would've been really bad!”
Fields isn't the only one feeling scared right now.
Captain Nathaniel Davis with GPD says criminals are specifically targeting college students, especially females.
“We can't be sure what the motive was but it is very alarming,” said Davis.
Davis says it’s particular disturbing that the suspect(s) inappropriately touched the victims while they were sleeping in four separate cases!
“This is concerning to us at the police department and we just want to make sure that all of our residents are safe,” said Davis. “Our college students come here to get an education and they have opportunities to live off campus and we just want to make sure that those experiences are good experiences for them and not one that they are afraid.”
The break-ins occurred between the hours of 2:30 am and 6:15 am, according to police.
On some mornings, police say the suspects struck several residences in the same area.
“That's really scary. I can't even imagine waking up to that,” said Fields. “I think that's so terrible. I can't even imagine.”
The first two burglaries occurred on Aug. 17 at the 1000 block of Cranbrook St.
Since then, police say burglaries have occurred at the following locations:
• 1400 block of E. Washington St.
• 500 block of Booker St.
• 700 block of Milton St.
• 3600 block of Hewitt St.
• 1700 block of Walker Ave.
• 500 block of Houston St.
After the intruder tried to break-in through Fields’ window, she and her roommates aren't taking any more chances.
They bought a new security system for their apartment which monitors the door and each window.
“If it's in the middle of the night and somebody tries to break in, it makes me feel a lot better that I'll know somebody's trying to break in,” said Fields. “You can’t put a price on safety.”
Captain Davis says everyone should be more alert and aware of their surroundings at all times.
“We want to make sure that we help our citizens to be safe but also we want to get to a point where we can find out who's doing this and bring that person to justice,” said Davis.
Police want to remind everyone to be on the lookout for people and cars that don't belong in your neighborhood – especially after midnight.
Police say you should definitely close and lock your windows and draw the curtains or blinds.
If the windows do not have locks, a wooden dowel rod that fits in the track of the window will prevent the window from being opened.
Police say residents should also talk with their landlords about upgrading security measures to include: improved lighting, surveillance cameras, and motion-activated lights.
Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000 or text the tip to 274637 using the keyword “badboyz.”
All calls to Crime Stoppers are completely anonymous, and may result in a reward up to $2,000.
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