The New Albany Police Department is asking residents to make sure their doors, garages and vehicles are locked and their home alarms are set following a series of daytime thefts.
"Because we've had quite a few burglaries recently, it's not necessarily a spike," said Chief Greg Jones. "But, because they're so close together and there are some that have used a forced entry and are considered more bold, this type is different."
Jones said in the past, many thefts occurred from homes, garages or vehicles that were unlocked. He said thieves now are entering homes through closed doors and windows, or accessing garages with garage-door openers left in an unlocked vehicle.
"It's possible that we may have a situation where we may not see it any more, or this may be the beginning of some type of trend," he said.
"There really are more opportunities (for crime) around the holidays," city spokesman Scott McAfee said. "There are more opportunities with people purchasing things and thefts can occur in parking lots or in homes."
Jones said the most recent burglaries occurred in the Lambton Park subdivision.
One occurred between 11 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. Dec. 12 in the 3000 block of Molland Court; another burglary and one attempted burglary occurred between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 18 in the 7000 block of Biddick Court.
More than $25,000 in jewelry was taken from one of the homes, according to the police reports.
"Jewelry is the popular item," Jones said. "They all are small items. It's not a person walking out with big-screen TV. It's something that's easily concealed that you can put in your clothing and walk away and not raise any suspicions."
To combat the thieves and the potential start of a trend, McAfee said, the city is recommending people remember to lock their doors and activate their alarm systems.
He said residents always should lock their vehicles, even if the car is parked in the driveway.
Jones said the department also is increasing residential patrols and is asking residents to call the police if they see anything that is suspicious.
"If they see something, like an unfamiliar car in the neighborhood or something suspicious, we want them to let us know," McAfee said.
The New Albany Police Department's nonemergency number is 614-855-1234.
Jones said residents also can help in the recovery of stolen items by safeguarding photos of jewelry, appraisals or other paperwork that came with the jewelry.
"We do recover some stolen items when we're looking at pawn shops and such," Jones said. "But the amount of jewelry (in a shop) can be high and a general description of a piece may not be enough to identify it.
"Photos or appraisals with details are much easier for us to use and identify pieces and then ultimately that would lead to us charging the person and returning the property to its owner."