After a rash of home burglaries, police are increasing patrols in a normally quiet suburban community.
Since April 1, at least three homes in Orland Park have been broken into, and two attempted burglaries have occurred. The two week span is an unprecedented streak of crime, police say, as the suburb saw only 20 burglaries in all of 2015.
“It scares me a lot,” said Helen Kelamis, who has lived in Orland Park for nearly three decades. “We are not safe anymore in our own homes. That's sad. What is society going to?"
The burglaries are happening in a concentrated area, from 151st south to Wheeler Dr., and between 94th Ave east to Regent Dr, according to police.
Most incidents are occurring between the hours of 5 and 11 p.m., with the burglars targeting houses where no one is home. Police said the suspect or suspects typically knock loudly and ring the doorbell. If no one answers, they break open the front door in search of small items like cash and jewelry.
“These burglaries have occurred in the evening hours with entry gained by forcefully kicking open the front door,” a voice alert sent by police to area residents said. Police have increased neighborhood patrols and are urging residents to lock their doors.
“I used to keep the garage door open and my front door open but I lock it all now,” said Roseanne Wimmer.
“They might be keeping watch of what’s going on, who goes when and when they return,” said resident Charlene Sandberg.
Police say that if someone answers the door, the suspect or suspects fabricate a story and leaves. They advise that if a suspicious person knocks on your door, you should acknowledge you are home but not open it.