GRAFTON - A rash of break-ins and attempted break-ins in the Grafton area has residents on edge.
Police say over the last two weeks, the incidents have been occurring in neighboring communities as well.
The police department is warning people to be vigilant.
Grafton Police posted a message for residents on their Facebook page indicating officers and deputies from the Lorain County Sheriff's Office had responded to calls for attempted break-ins.
The latest attempt happened early Wednesday morning.
Police say the incidents are happening all over Grafton and aren't isolated to one area.
Authorities warn residents in and around Grafton to ensure their homes and vehicles are locked and secure.
They also say not to leave valuables in vehicles.
On at least two occasions, a suspect or suspects used a bicycle to silently escape the scene of the crime and stay off roadways, using fields and yards without being noticed.
Grafton residents Kristen Ruggles and Nicholas Belcher say an intruder broke into their home. “It took me a few minutes to even process that this was actually happening, because stuff life that doesn’t usually happen here,” Ruggles told WKYC’s Hilary Golston.
Kristen was in the shower when Nicholas encountered the intruder after hearing a noise and seeing a light. “My boyfriend just came in the bathroom kind of panicked and just said someone was in the house,” Ruggles said.
That's when he saw a masked intruder. “I kind of heard a creak we have cats. I saw a flash of lights at the top of the stairs,” Belcher explained. “I got out of bed grabbed my cell phone flashlight… I walked down the hallway… walked in my daughter's room…. Turned the corner, I was probably two feet away from him.”
The couple report the incident occurred almost a month ago, early one morning.
The intruder was discovered in Nicholas's young daughter's room. Both were happy she wasn't in there at the time, but the scenario has left Kristin wary. “When I’m laying in bed and hear little creaks it does make my heart race… thinking oh gosh there’s somebody in here again.”
The perpetrator got away with coins and costume jewelry, but left more valuable items untouched.
"Anyone with information should contact the Grafton Police Department at 440-926-2662. Anyone who sees suspicious activity is encouraged to call while the activities are occurring."
Police suggest using lights outside your home to keep criminals away.
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