COLUMBIA — Each month since November, a different home has been broken into on Columbia’s west side. Police are investigating whether the cases are linked and are asking for the community’s help.
The details are similar: Between 5 and 10 p.m. a male suspect forced his way into the home of a female senior citizen, assaulted her and stole valuable items, according to a Columbia Police Department news release.
The break-ins happened in three different homes in November, December and January, Columbia Public Information Officer Latisha Stroer said. The houses were all in Beat 50 — an area located roughly south of West Ash Street, west of Providence Road and northwest of the MKT Trail.
An investigation into the robberies is ongoing, so the police cannot disclose details about each case, although in one incident the suspect showed the victim a handgun, Stroer said.
"We’ve had three home invasions, and we’re asking the public if they saw anything suspicious during these times – either a person in the area or a vehicle in the area – to give us a call," Stroer said.
The Police Department has issued standard safety warnings for the public, especially senior citizens, including locking doors and windows while at home and putting houselights on a timer while away to give the appearance of being at home.