By MARK O'BRIEN
ROTTERDAM, NY -- Rotterdam police are warning people of more than a dozen home break-ins in recent weeks, and authorities say there's a good possibility that they're all connected.
Police say they all happened during the day, always when no one was home, and the similar items were being stolen. Authorities say in all, a dozen Rotterdam homes have been burglarized since around the start of the month, as well as two in Princetown.
Police don't know if it's one person or more, but in every case, they've broken windows or doors to get inside. Many people News 10 spoke with say it's not enough to make them uneasy, so long as they stay vigilant.
"They're going to the master bedrooms in most of these residences," says Lt. Michael Brown of the Rotterdam Police Dept. "They're taking jewelry, and then on the way out, any other small electronics that they find they're taking as well."
"I feel safe," says Maria Mastroinni, who's lived in Rotterdam for 24 years. "Of course, I lock my doors. I don't leave them open, that's for sure."
"It doesn't change my opinion of Rotterdam," says Richard Putorti, who grew up in Rotterdam. "I don't think of the situation as, ‘Gee, why did that happen here?' I kind of think of that as, ‘Why couldn't it happen here?'
"Just be aware and be ready," he adds. "Things like that happen everywhere."
Police say the burglars are most likely staking out the houses they're hitting by first knocking on the door, ringing the doorbell, or perhaps even making phone calls to see if anyone is home. If not, that's when they break-in. It's why police say it's so important for neighbors to be extra vigilant for anything suspicious.