Burglars target apartment complexes

Lawton_Lawton Police started investigating what started as just a few apartment burglaries last October.  Now, more than three months later, police are investigating about 35-40 that they believe are all connected.

Detectives say the burglar, or burglars, hit complexes all over town and in all directions.  They say what they all have in common is how the criminals are gaining entry.  They're picking the locks.  They aren't sure what tools they're using, but it's something that's breaking the lock - even deadbolts.

Krystal Wells says she thought she and her belongings would be safe after moving into a west side apartment complex.  But, only a day after moving in, she came home to find her door wide open and her plasma television stolen.  "The TV was gone, my 46-inch plasma.  With the remote - they didn't forget that," she says.  Not only did Wells have to call police, she also had to call her maintenance man since her door locks were destroyed.

Detectives say Wells' case is just one of the latest apartment burglaries that fit the same mold.  "They're always getting in the same way - through the front door, somehow manipulating the lock.  For some reason, or somehow, they know when no one is home," says Captain Will Hines.  This is why investigators believe whoever is responsible has inside knowledge of apartment complexes, or would not seem suspicious if seen by neighbors.

Wells says she believes the robbers knew what belongings she had in her home.  "I think they saw they saw us move in because they were after one specific thing," she says.  "I mean, you see a plasma TV move in, you think you're going to go shopping.  I guess that was what their theory was."

One obstacle detectives are hurdling is the lack of serial numbers for the stolen merchandise.  Police urge you to write them down and put them in a safe place.  They say you should not save them in your computer, because thieves are stealing those too.

Lawton Crimestoppers is offering a $400 cash reward for information that will help to solve these burglaries.  Just call 580-355-INFO.  As always, you never have to give your name.