Residents in town houses along April Journey in the Dorsey's Search village of Columbia are worried after thieves broke into eight homes in a two-day crime spree last week.
Thieves also attempted to break into at least 10 other homes Thursday and Friday in the 5500 to 5700 blocks of April Journey. At times, the thieves pried into French or atrium doors, while other homes were entered through doors or basement windows that might have been left unlocked, police said.
"It's pretty nerve-wracking to know people were walking around trying to break into 18 homes around here," said Cathy Lester, 35, a resident who experienced an attempted break-in. "They didn't get in, but they messed up our door when they tried to pry it open.
"We're terrified, and it was depressing and unsettling," Ms. Lester said.
Items stolen in the break-ins include a camera, CD player, telephones, checks and cash, police said. A 1992 Toyota Camry was also stolen, but has since been recovered in Columbia, police spokesman Gary Gardner said.
Most of Ms. Lester's neighbors -- who live in 2 1/2 -year-old luxury town houses -- own alarms and have never experienced any trouble before the recent break-ins, she said. However, those that did not have alarms went out to buy them shortly thereafter, she said.
"I think everybody is concerned," she said. "But the police said these things happen in spurts, and the burglars probably
won't come back, so the tension isn't as thick anymore."
Two doors down from her home, burglars entered Tim Morris'. He awoke to the sound of the burglar alarm and ran downstairs to see the shades on his atrium door swinging back and forth.
"I guess when the alarm went off and the lights went on, they left," said Mr. Morris, 34, a sales manager for NV Homes. "They
didn't get a chance to steal anything, though.
"I guess I shouldn't have run downstairs when it happened, because I was really nervous, looking back on it now," he said. "I'm not going to put bars on or anything, but I am thinking about getting a motion detector light now."
Although there are no suspects yet in the investigation, police are not ruling out the idea that the burglaries might be connected with other area break-ins, Sergeant Gardner said.
"There have been a number of burglaries in Columbia, so we haven't ruled out any possibilities," he said. "There are no new developments yet, so we're just hoping we can get some tips or something."
They asked anyone with information to call them at 313-2220.