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Thieves are targeting Clackamas County homes while residents are out of town, sheriff's office says

While there's no certainty that the recent burglaries were perpetrated by the same thieves, investigators say there are some major similarities.
Credit: JUN2 / Thinkstock

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office has put out a warning after several recent burglaries took place while the homeowners were on extended trips out of town.

The latest instance happened on April 17, the agency said. A Happy Valley homeowner returned to his home on Southeast Mountain Crest Drive to find that someone had entered his home through a second-story window.

Whoever entered the home had searched it, stealing watches and jewelry.

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Earlier in the month, a homeowner on South Stonehenge Terrace in West Linn was out of town when a relative came to check on the house on April 6. The relative found damage to multiple windows, including one on the second story.

Designer handbags had been stolen from the home's master bedroom, the sheriff's office said. The burglar (or burglars) had broken multiple windows, possibly to check whether there was an alarm system that would go off if they came inside.

"It is unknown at this writing if these and other recent burglaries are related, but the M.O. is similar: thieves appear to be targeting homeowners spending extended time away from their homes," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "Victim residences have also lacked adequate alarm systems — and in many cases the burglars appear to check for an alarm system before entering a home."

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The sheriff's office urged residents who leave for extended periods of time to have a friend or neighbor keep an eye on the home, install alarm systems with surveillance cameras, and install timed lighting systems that make the empty home seem occupied.

Both of these burglaries and others are still under investigation, and CCSO said it is actively seeking tips. Anyone with information is asked to contact the agency by phone at 503-723-4949 or by using the online email form at the CCSO website, reference CCSO case #22-007886 and #22-008783.

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