Neighbors Respond to East Lansing Burglaries

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One neighbor described it well:

"The Pinecrest neighborhood is kind of like the Maytag serviceman; there's never a problem around here."

Until this week.

The East Lansing neighborhood has had five home break-ins between January 26-29. With no suspects and no witnesses, police and neighbors alike are puzzled.

Capt. Tom Johnstone: "It appears the person is pretty bold."

Bold because the homes are being broken into in broad daylight, and the burglar is taking money, credit cards and neighbors' sense of security.

"I find it unsettling," says neighbor Steve Ueberroth.

"We have a criminal with criminal intent roaming through our neighborhood while the kids are playing outside," says Thomspon.

And neighbors aren't going to wait for yet another break-in to take action. Thomspon, the Pinecrest neighborhood watch president, has called for an emergency town meeting to spread the word and increase the vigilance.

"We can orchestrate things in the neighborhood to help police catch the bad guys," Thompson says.

Police have already stepped up their patrols in the Pinecrest neighborhood, but they say vigilant neighbors are essential in preventing further crimes.

"If you've got a good community chain, you can spread the word well," Ueberroth says.

Police are entertaining the idea that these break-ins could be related to the string of burglaries in Lansing and Delta Township.

"At this time there are some similarities, but I can't say for sure they're tied," says Capt. Johnstone.

"The talk around the neighborhood is that it's probably kids because they're rifling through houses, looking for cash, not taking any of those big-ticket items," Thompson counters.

But whether it's kids or professional burglars, "it's still a home invasion, and it's not a good thing."