DECATUR, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- Police in three counties believe a number of break-ins are related, and they're urging people to look out for their neighbors.
"We're all kind of uneasy. It's just kind of managing and protecting ourselves the best we can," concerned neighbor Shonna Timmons says.
People living in the Adams County Oakwood neighborhood just south of Decatur are on edge after several overnight burglaries, including one where an older woman was home alone and slept right through it.
"Based off of what they told us, they had been watching everybody in the neighborhood for some time to figure out who was vulnerable and who wasn't. And it's just terrifying to know that they picked and choosed who they thought was vulnerable and they went after her," she says.
Her neighbor wasn't the only victim.
For the past couple of weeks, Adams, Wells, and Allen Counties have seen a rash of break ins with the same pattern of accessing homes, cars, and garages.
"They're grabbing cash, they're grabbing credit cards, guns, jewelry, anything that is out in the open and very noticeable," says Adams County Chief Deputy Eric Beer.
Beer says detectives from several departments are working together to catch suspects.
But residents in Oakwood are taking their own precautions.
"We had a few cameras in our house already but we did go to the extent of adding a whole additional security system afterwards and getting some Ring doorbells and that type of thing," Timmons says.
Chief Deputy Beer says officers would be happy to respond to calls for help.
"All of these break ins have happened in the middle of the night. People who are noticing different cars, different people, people walking down the streets, vehicles that don't belong, need to call their local sheriff's department or police department right away," Beer says.
He says if you ever encounter someone who's breaking into your home, you should lock yourself in a room and call 911.
Operators will remain on the line with you until officers get there.
He says if you get home and see that your home has been burglarized, go back to your car and call police who will make sure no one is still in the home.
Residents say they won't fully relax until they know that suspects have been arrested.
"Now we have sensors on every window, we have sensors everywhere because you just don't know," Timmons says.