Evanston police are warning residents about a series of burglaries in which thieves have entered homes late at night through unlocked windows and stolen laptop computers, purses, cameras and jewelry.

Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott says three such incidents occurred in Evanston late last week and similar crimes were reported in Skokie about the same time.

In Evanston, the burglars hit homes in the 2500 block of Noyes Street, the 1300 block of Greenwood Street and the 2100 block of Wesley Avenue.

Parrott says residents should lock gates and not leave garbage cans near windows. Shrubbery and bushes should not block window views and motion detector lights are highly recommended for doorways, garages and pathways.

And Parrott says that if you’re planning to be out of town, you should have a neighbor or friend watch your home.

He says unusual behavior, like excessive dog barking or dark-clothed subjects walking or parked in an alley that is out of the ordinary should be reported to police.

Burglars, Parrott says, often travel in poorly lit areas on foot to check out homes before breaking in. And, when suspects are confronted by property owners, excuses are given in a friendly manner to the home owner, such as “I am sorry, I thought I was at the right house.”

Parrott says if you notice a suspicious person you should call 911 immediately with a detailed description of the person or vehicle.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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