(01/15/14) - A warning from police in Genesee County's Clayton Township - keep your eyes open as the area deals with a string of break-ins.
The thefts are happening in the middle of the day and police say the number is growing.
Police say the criminals are kicking in doors of homes and taking electronics, cash and jewelry.
The police chief says this is one of their biggest problems that they have been faced with in Clayton Township.
There have already been two break-ins this month. Police and people who live here say that's too many for a small community. The most recent break in was on Lennon Road, when someone broke into a home Tuesday during the day.
"I don't know where they're coming from. If it's people coming from different areas into this area and doing it, but usually this is a very peaceful neighborhood," said Gary Gaines, who lives in Clayton Township.
Police are still investigating 53 break-ins from last year. They say it's possible that some of the cases are related.
Clayton Township Police chief, Scott Pavlik, says the thieves are stealing belongings and selling them at pawn shops across the county. There has been talk about keeping track of what's being sold at local pawn shops in order to prevent more problems down the road.
"With that, I'll be able to electronically from my computer. For example, there's three companies that have management systems that are specifically targeted toward second hand stores. That way if someone in Davison sells something in Flint, I can know about it. You can run it by name, business and so forth and that way we'll be able to track some of this stuff that's being stolen," he said.
Police are asking people in the community to keep an eye out for their neighbors and to call 911 if they see something that looks suspicious.
"The other thing that I noticed was a little bit strange about Clayton Township, because I've been here a year, is that I have not in a year gotten a home invasion in progress call where someone who was actually a neighbor saw someone go into a house. Part of that is because it's rural. So I'm trying to urge neighbors to be more vigilant and look out for their neighbors. They know better than anybody who belongs in that house and if you see somebody in the middle of the day carrying stuff out the house, I would encourage them to call police so we can check it out," Pavlik said.
The chief says they're averaging about one home invasion a month. They have a few suspects they're looking at.
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