A crime bulletin issued Thursday said that police are looking for whoever broke into at least nine garages or homes within a short time frame — in an area bounded by Zenith Avenue to the west, Vincent Avenue to the east, 52nd Street to the south and 48th Street to the north. The spree occurred between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Tuesday, the bulletin said.
The suspected thieves left empty-handed in six of the break-ins, police said.
In all but three of the break-ins, the suspects forced their way in, usually by kicking in a door, making off with tools, bikes and “other miscellaneous items,” police said. No suspect descriptions were available on Thursday.
In one of the cases, in which a suspect entered a home via an unlocked door, the homeowner awoke to a loud crash in his kitchen. He yelled and the suspect fled, but not before taking a wallet and ID from a kitchen drawer, the police bulletin said. Another time, two bikes were stolen from a garage in the 5200 block of S. Xerxes Avenue, after someone apparently slipped in through an unlocked service door.
The surrounding neighborhood, which has a reputation as one of the city’s safest, captured national attention two summers ago with the fatal police shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, in a W. 51st Street alley, between Washburn and Xerxes avenues. The former officer who shot her, Mohamed Noor, will be sentenced Friday after being convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.