At least seven residences in the Gonzaga University area were burglarized over the university’s winter break, the Spokane Police Department said Thursday.
Police believe burglars targeted homes with built-up mail and uncleared walkways. Front doors and locked bedroom doors were forced open, and many homes were ransacked, police said.
The break-ins began on Dec. 22, when a burglar kicked in the door of a residence in the area of 500 East Indiana Avenue, police said in a news release. A tenant chased the suspect from the home and police were unable to locate the suspect using a K-9.
After that, a young woman was awakened by the sounds of someone forcing their way into her home on the 1300 block of North Columbus Street, in the early morning hours of Dec.28. The woman hid under her bed and texted her mother, who called 911, police said.
The suspects were in the home for 15 to 20 minutes, the victim told police. When officers arrived on scene, something appeared to scare the burglars and they abandoned backpacks with stolen property and fled the scene, police said. A K-9 was unable to locate suspects in this instance.
Four burglaries occurred on the evening of Dec. 29 on the 500 block of East Sinto Avenue, the 300 block of East Indiana Avenue, the 800 block of East Nora Avenue and the 1700 block of North Cincinnati Street. At all four of the residences, the front door was forced open, police said.
On Jan. 1, burglars found an unlocked residence on the 1100 block of East Augusta Avenue, police said.
The Patrol Anti-Crime Team (PACT) is investigating the burglaries and looking for more victims who may have not returned to campus yet, police said. The PACT team has developed probable cause for three suspects, but no arrests had been made as of Thursday afternoon.
Leaving interior lights on with timers, asking a neighbor to clear snow from walkways and watch your property, putting mail on hold, and adding security cameras area all ways to reduce chances of being victimized, police said.
Victims or witnesses with information can call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
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