SCHENECTADY From Aug. 1 through Monday morning, police said, a total of 18 burglaries were reported in Schenectady’s North Side neighborhood, and all of them are believed to be related.
The burglars broke into the homes largely through side or rear windows that had been left open and unlocked. Sometimes they broke through screens, cutting them or removing them completely, said Lt. Mark McCracken, a police spokesman.
The burglaries have been reported from Union Street north to Seneca Street and from Foster Avenue east to Lowell Road, mostly in single-family homes, police said.
In response, police have increased patrols in specific areas, as well as other sections of the city. The burglaries are being investigated by the department’s detective division and evidence collection unit.
The break-ins all have been during the night, and homeowners have awoken to discover their home had been burglarized.
The nighttime entries, McCracken said, are particularly worrisome to police as they increase the likelihood that the burglars will encounter residents, with potentially violent results. He said anyone who finds an intruder in their home should lock themselves in a room away from the burglar and call 911. No residents have reported encounters with the burglars during the recent string of break-ins, he added.
The burglars have been taking cash, laptop computers, cellphones and other small electronic devices.
Police are asking residents to close and lock their windows, particularly at night; set alarms; turn on exterior lights around their homes; and call police immediately if they observe suspicious activity.
McCracken acknowledged the window request could be tough for residents to follow, given the time of year.
“I can certainly understand people would want to enjoy that and sleep with their windows open,” he said. “But that’s not advisable, particularly due to recent events.”