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Two similar break-ins in two weeks in south Columbia

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department urges people in Columbia again to lock their doors and windows.

The warning comes after a burglary on early Thursday morning at the 300 block of the Rockbridge Estates on Chris Drive in south Columbia. The victim told police she woke up at 3:25 a.m. to find a man with a flashlight in her home. She said the man did not take anything and escaped through her back door that deputies believe was unlocked.

This is not the first time ABC 17 has reported a break-in similar to this case. Just over a week ago, the Columbia Police Department said a woman in the 2400 block of Nifong Boulevard woke up just after 3 a.m. to find a man in her bedroom with a flashlight. In that case, the intruder punched the victim in the face before fleeing the scene.

Despite the similarities, Detective Tom O’Sullivan said he doubts the two cases are related because the suspect descriptions don’t match. The previous victim claims the suspect was white while Thursday’s victim said her intruder was black.

O’Sullivan told ABC 17 the neighborhood on Chris Drive has a history of violence.

“Name it, and it was happening down there,” O’Sullivan said. “They were selling dope, fighting, peace disturbances…it was a hotspot for us for a while.”

A hotspot that O’Sullivan said fell off of sheriff’s deputies’ radar for three years until last night. People in the neighborhood agree it’s been relatively quiet.

However, one neighbor who didn’t want to be recognized said he woke up late last week to someone wiggling the handle on his front door. The neighborhood’s history is why he installed a security camera and a third bolt to the door.

O’Sullivan said locking your door is the obvious first step people must take to stay safe.

“I mean, this could have potentially gone on worse than what it was,” O’Sullivan said. “I mean, you have got to lock your doors at night before you go to bed. The last thing you should do is check to make sure your doors and windows are locked.”

The victim describes the suspect as a 6-foot tall black man between the ages of 18 and 25. He was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, black shirt and black jeans. If you have any information, you’re asked to call the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

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