Sheriff urges homeowners to lock doors after rash of home invasi - – Rockford’s News Leader

Sheriff urges homeowners to lock doors after rash of home invasions

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DANE COUNTY (WKOW) - A spokesperson for Dane County's sheriff urges homeowners to lock doors, after unlocked home and car doors led to a rash of recent home invasion burglaries.

"The burglars have been so brazen as to go into the homes when people are inside,"  spokesperson Elise Schaffer says.

Schaffer says three children were in a Windsor home when burglars hit Thursday.

Neighbor Gary Hannert says the victims only discovered the intruders when they heard the crime-in-progress.

"One of the prowlers yelled to the other gentleman, 'Hey, we need to get out of here,'  " Hannert says.

Schaffer say three homes in McFarland were burglarized Tuesday, with burglars either entering through an unlocked door or using garage door remotes from unlocked vehicles outside the house.  McFarland Police Lieutenant Brian Redman says there were also five thefts from cars on that date in the village.

Larry Taubenheim says one of his Cook Street neighbors only escaped being a victim, due to a dead battery in the garage door remote grabbed by a thief.

Taubenheim's security routine is what authorities recommend.

"Making sure every door is locked, windows locked, the garage door down,"  Taubenheim says.  "And if we have some reason to leave a car out on the driveway, we make sure there's nothing visible inside that may be interesting, and make sure it's locked up.

In 2008, someone broke through the service door of Taubenheim's home and stole cash and his wife's jewelry and keepsakes.  He's reinforced door security.  Taubenheim says he still remembers how the crime left him feeling.

"Violated,"  Taubenheim says.  "Felt very uneasy for a long, long time.  I would not wish that kind of experience on anyone."

Investigators say cars were seen leaving some of the crime scenes.  They're looking for any possible, additional witnesses, or surveillance video.

Schaffer says thieves in these crimes spent little time in the homes, stealing small electronics and other, easily snatched items.

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