Break-ins have some in Durham's Parkwood community on edge

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A South Durham homeowner has a message for her neighbors and the thieves who recently broke down the back door of her Parkwood home. They got away with thousands of dollars in jewelry, electronics and other valuable items.

"It appears they were coming in from the back door," explained Pamela Thornton. "They were waiting for people to leave the house. They were in and out really quick."

Thornton says she would later learn the thieves also targeted her neighbors.

Durham police say there's been a significant decline in home break-ins in the Parkwood community. At least two incidents were reported on May 5. The burglars entered the homes through back door after prying them open.

Police hosted several community meetings earlier this year to share crime prevention tips with residents. The Durham Crime Mapper shows several breaking and entering cases in the area over the past six months.

"I just want people to know no matter where you live, they're not completely safe from things like this," Thornton added, emphasizing that she believed her neighborhood was safe.

Police are sounding the alarm in other neighborhoods, including the Duke Forest community. An e-mail obtained by ABC11 shows investigators are urging residents to be vigilant, asking for "additional eyes." The message pointed out that the break-in suspects are young but habitual criminals.

Police also pointed out that some residents have seen suspicious activity before a home break-in yet failed to call 911.

Thornton says she and her neighbors have increased security at their homes and reactivated their neighborhood watch. She says there's still concern the recent break-ins could be related.

"People need to know that this is going on," she said. "The people who are responsible need to know we're looking out for them and sooner or later, they will be caught."

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