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East Campus residents on alert after multiple burglaries in one week

Thursday, Columbia residents are on alert after a string of burglaries on one street on East Campus.

Columbia police confirmed officers responded to a burglary at a home on University Avenue shortly before midnight Wednesday.

A man living in the home told Abc 17 his roommate came home to find a stranger with a gun in his living room, and he got away with money.

Neighbors said this is not the first burglary on the block this week. One man who lives three houses away said he and his roommates forgot to lock the front door a few nights ago and came home to find someone had been inside.

“We were downtown, came back and they, we found they got in our house and we looked and both of our Xbox Ones were gone and all our games including controllers and stuff,” he said.

Columbia police dispatch showed officers responded to a burglary at the home last Friday around 2:30 a.m. Then Saturday morning, officers responded to another report of a burglary in the 1000 block of University Avenue. And Wednesday night, officers responded to a third report of a burglary in the 1600 block.

Residents told Abc 17 they have seen a man going from door to door in the neighborhood who looks like he is canvassing the area.

“A man in a camo hoodie knocked on the door and pretended, once we opened it he pretended to ask for someone and walked away,” he said.

“Last night was especially scary,” University Avenue resident Ben Spinner said. “We just saw someone just walking around, looking up to no good. He would knock at doors that were dark and see if anyone was in and then try to break into the house.”

Spinner also said the man he described was wearing a camo jacket.

Amander Baebler who also lives on University Avenue said she is concerned about the recent burglaries and has talked to her roommates about buying a security system.

“My roommates and I are very scared of people breaking into our house,” Baebler said. “I mean it’s happened to our friends, our neighbors. You know and armed robberies are becoming more frequent and that’s a real threat.”

Residents said they are taking extra precautions now before leaving home.

“We’ve just been like locking our doors at night now,” Liam McKenna said. “I mean you’d think it’s safe to just leave your doors unlocked, it’s just a college town. But we’ve been starting to lock our doors front and back, even the windows too.”

According to police dispatch records, officers responded to nine reports of burglaries on University Avenue in the past year, including three from the last week.

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