Police in southern Washington County have been dealing with a rash of home burglaries in recent weeks, a theft spree that may also be related to burglaries in northern Rensselaer County.
State Police and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are investigating at least 10 burglaries at homes in the towns of Salem, Hebron, Argyle and Jackson over the past of couple of months.
Among them was one last weekend in Hebron, when an elderly woman’s home was targeted while she was at church, her front door forced open and unspecified valuables stolen, authorities said.
“There have been quite a few in our county and the surrounding counties,” said Washington County sheriff’s Capt. Tony LeClaire.
Police said most of the burglaries have been occurring during the daytime, with jewelry, electronics and other valuables taken. Copper pipes have also been stolen at some homes, with thieves selling them to scrap dealers.
A homeowner in Salem interrupted one of the burglaries late last month when he arrived home to find would-be thieves in his home, prompting the suspects to flee, but at least one of the men was identified, and police were able to generate leads. LeClaire said that case remained under investigation, and police believe the duo was responsible for a number of the burglaries.
Police believe the thieves may be knocking on doors and soliciting contracting work if someone answers, but entering homes if no one is home. They also may be looking for homes where people have left for the winter to go to warmer climates.
Police asked that homeowners be particularly alert and aware of people knocking on doors, and to get license plate information for suspicious vehicles. Lock doors, hide valuables and install security or camera systems, if possible, were other recommendations.
Anyone with information in the case was asked to call State Police at 518-583-7000 or the Sheriff’s Office at 518-747-4623.