Police search for suspects of Lakeview forced break-in activity

Police search for suspects of Lakewood forced break-in activity. (WWMT/Courtesy Battle Creek Police Department)

Battle Creek police are on the hunt for suspects who have been breaking into homes in the Lakeview district and stealing valuables from bedrooms.

Police said break ins are common this time of year, but the cases in the Lakeview district are unusual because the suspects are going beyond a crime of opportunity and forcing their way into homes.

“They are getting the expensive jewelry, the televisions, the smaller electronics," Battle Creek police Sgt. Stuart Bell said.

Battle Creek police took their search for suspects to social media and posted surveillance photos of two people who broke into a home in the Lakeview neighborhood.

Police said the suspects typically force their way into a home through a rear door and target valuable items in the master bedroom while the homeowners are away. News spread fast through the neighborhood watch.

Catherine James said the news sparked some fear.

“Wondering, when I got home, what would it be like," James said. "Wondering if someone broke in while I was at work.”

Battle Creek Police went door to door near West Columbia Avenue investigating every incident reported.

“The biggest thing is we don't want anyone to get hurt," Bell said. "Nobody’s been hurt yet, but things could have been worse and we want to avoid that."

Bell said the break ins are unusual because the suspects are taking the time to force their way into a home instead of just looking for unlocked doors.

“Most important, we're asking people out in the public, please call if you see something unusual. If you see an unusual car in the area, give us a call so we can check on it," Bell said.

The burglaries received lots of attention on social media, and many in the neighborhood said they appreciate the fast dissemination of information.

“It just brings awareness to make sure we are being cognizant of that and make sure we are locking our doors and watching out for our neighborhoods," Kathryn DeGraaf said. "I think that’s really important.”

Battle Creek Police are reminding people to take the time to check on the layers of security around their homes. All lighting should be working with lights and sensors positioned to allow maximum coverage.

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