Madera neighborhood hit by thieves

Madera, CA, USA Many of the homes in the subdivision have decals to warn potential burglars they're protected by security alarms. But in addition to an alarm, Mike Mideiros has also taken other steps to keep criminals out. Mideiros has motion activated lights, security cameras, and even iron bars, which are a little unusual in his upscale neighborhood. "I don't know where in the world anybody would be safe anymore," said Mideiros.

Thieves have hit Mideiros' neighborhood four times in the last week and a half and neighbors say even more homes have been hit within the last few months. Madera police say the thieves are coming in the middle of the day and they may be ringing on doorbells to make sure no one is home before they break back doors or windows to get in. Once inside, they've taken jewelry, televisions, security safes, and in one case, someone's Lexus S.U.V.

The rash of break-ins has the neighborhood on alert. "You're really not expecting that - to come home and see your house has been vandalized, or you don't have your stuff, it's scary," said Cecilia Reyes-Murillo.

Now, neighbors are making sure they keep all of their garage doors shut and keeping an eye out for the criminals who only seem to be getting bolder. "People are desperate, I think. With the economy slowdown and this and that and the other it seems like people are going to drastic measures to support habits or whatever," said Mideiros.

The S.U.V taken from one of the homes was recovered shortly after it was stolen but the rest of the items are still missing. As the holidays approach, police are urging everyone to do whatever you can to keep from turning into a victim, whether it's installing security alarms or just making sure your doors and windows are locked at all times.


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