TOWSON, Md. - Baltimore County Police believe the same group of burglars are now responsible for 18 break-ins dating back to October. They're targeting large, secluded homes at times when they don't believe anyone is home.
Fences, security cameras, alarm systems have not deterred these criminals.
“They have rehearsed what they’re doing. They know what they’re doing. I hear they have earpieces and talk to each other, they’re head to toe covered so you don’t see their faces,” said Sarah McNelis
Mcnelis' neighbor was a recent victim. Members of this group reportedly broke into the home next door then fled after realizing someone was in the house.
“They’re looking, they're watching the roads, the houses, seeing when people are coming and going and then planning their burglaries around that timeframe,” said Corporal Shawn Vinson, spokesman for the Baltimore County Police Department.
They seem to prefer late afternoon and early evening. They've also spread out their operations.
“They've ranged. We've seen burglaries in Cockeysville precinct over to Franklin and Pikesville precincts and also in Towson,” said Vinson.
The thieves have stolen jewlery, cash, and in two instances, safes from homes.
Adele Brockmeyer has been tracking reports of the thieves and posting them on her law group's Facebook page. She's been contacted directly by individuals targeted and has a theory on where they strike.
“If you have a house that's somewhere close to where precincts change, they are hitting specifically those houses because it's easier for them to get into a new precinct where the call didn't come in. That's my own personal opinion that's not from anyone else,” said Brockmeyer, an attorney with the Turnbull Brockmeyer Law Group.
Knowing this group is more sophisticated than previous criminals, police are staying tight lipped about what exactly they're doing to catch them.
“There was a meeting at Chestnut Ridge Fire Department and there was a concern that perhaps one of the people involved in these burglaries was actually at that meeting,” said Brockmeyer.
“What's really kind of a shame is the fact that you can take people's possessions but what they're really taking is our right to feel secure in our homes,” Mcnelis said.
Police haven’t released any description of the burglars. And even though they're not giving out specifics, police told ABC2's Mallory Sofastaii they have deployed resources and are taking this very seriously.
In one instance, a group member may have been armed, so police want to catch the burglars before the crimes escalate.
They also want to remind everyone to report anything suspicious to them, and to keep on lights and invest in security systems that immediately notify police when someone attempts to break-in.