POLICE are warning north Orange residents to lock their doors and windows or risk becoming the next victim in a spate of break and enters in the area.
In the early hours of Friday morning six houses in and around Phillip Street were targeted, with another six in Jubilee Avenue, Matthews Avenue and Jeanette Close broken into over a 24-hour period on Monday.
One of the Phillip Street victims has told the Central Western Daily he and his family felt “violated” when they realised someone had entered their house via an open family room window.
The man, who declined to be named, said the break in occurred while he and his family were sleeping some time between midnight and 5am on Friday.
While in the house the thief entered the bedroom the man shares with his wife and stole her handbag from next to her bed.
“It’s terrible to think that people you never would have invited in have been in your house,” he said.
“They’re the scum of the earth.”
While replacing keys, credit cards, money, a wallet, glasses and other personal items has been time-consuming and expensive, the man said he felt lucky none of his family were injured during the incident.
“I’m glad there wasn’t a confrontation,” he said. “Who knows what would have happened if I’d have run into them? They may have run or they may have king-hit me.
“It’s a strange feeling knowing they’ve been in the house.”
The man said he suspected the thief would have pocketed the money and disposed of the bag in one of the garbage bins that were out on the street ready for collection later that morning.
“They seem to be targeting different areas so people need to lock all their window and doors,” he said.
He said the family planned to upgrade their security and had bought a dog on Sunday.
Yesterday morning detectives canvassed streets in north Orange, warning people to secure their houses and cars.
Inspector Peter Atkins, of Canobolas Local Area Command, confirmed police were concerned about the high number of break and enters in the area.
“That’s a high number of break and enters to occur in any area,” Inspector Atkins said.
“We want to let people know that they need to be extra cautious about securing their houses, even if they’re there.”
Inspector Dave Harvey said police were working hard to identify those involved.
“We’re asking anyone who might have seen something suspicious to contact police,” he said.
Police are also warning people to not only ensure all their windows and doors are secured but to also make sure garage roller doors and internal access doors are locked.