They are some of west Akron's nicest neighborhoods, but since the middle of June they've been the target of bold burglars who strike early in the morning or in broad daylight while the homeowners are away at work.
Ward 8 Councilwoman Marilyn Keith tells AkronNewsNow the burglars are breaking into homes and garages in a several block area including the Portage Path, Merriman Road, Delaware and Ridgecrest neighborhoods " There has been an African-American and a white gentleman on bicycles, very clean cut, so they wouldn't surprise you if you saw them in the neighborhood."
The thieves kick in back doors or take the garage door openers from cars in the driveway to gain easier access through the garages and into the homes.
Keith has this advice for residents in the affected neighborhoods." There's been a rash of them breaking into the cars. We want owners to make sure their cars are locked and even after they lock them to take in their garage door openers, because this gives the burglars immediate access for getting into the house. Keep those bottom windows locked in your house. In fact they say to keep your car keys next to your night stand and hit your car alarm if you hear an intruder or something going on."
Marilyn Keith confirms that one burglary around 4 a.m. was foiled when the family dog alerted the homeowner, who scuffled with the suspect before the invader fled.
Keith says Akron Police have been working to catch the thieves. " They have a special unit working on it, and they have some undercover cars in the area now, along with detectives doing what they need to do. And they've also caught a few people. We don't think we've got em all yet."
Keith says neighbors in the affected area have also been e-mailing each other if they observe any suspicious activities around their homes. " I think the more people who communicate this way get the information immediately, and the Akron Police Department is able to put these pieces of the puzzle together," says Keith.
She says residents need to be aware of any suspicious acvtivity, because the burglars have been seen riding their bicycles into driveways to check out possible future break-in targets.