Murphy police are warning people of the possibility of prowlers after a disturbing uptick in crime.
“In Murphy, we’re not used to this, so we’re going to attack it as hard and heavy as we can,” said Murphy Police Chief G.M. Cox.
Cox said over two weeks in November, three home break-ins have been reported to his department, all concentrated in neighborhoods south of Farm-to-Market Road 544.
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He said up until October, there had only been five total break-ins all year.
The three recent burglaries were reported in the 300 block of Hawthorne Drive, the 300 block of Sycamore Drive and the 200 block of Love Bird Lane.
“In this case, the primary things that are being stolen are jewelry,” said Cox.
He reported all of the crimes happened in the evening hours, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., while the homes were unoccupied.
The burglars broke in through a back door or window.
Cox said in one case, there was an alarm and surveillance system in the home, but it wasn’t activated at the time of the crime.
Police have increased patrols across the city and are encouraging people to lock gates to their backyards.
NBC 5 spoke to Murphy resident Gwen Guye, whose house was broken into earlier this month.
She said she feels the burglars were watching her because they struck in the few minutes after she left her house and before her daughter came home.
Her daughter, Kemeisha, said she found the back door had been kicked in and the family's jewelry was missing.
The family has since installed security cameras and recommends neighbors activate their alarm systems before they leave their homes.
The crimes show some similarities to break-ins in other neighboring cities, so police are investigating connections to other parts of Collin County.
Police said the getaway vehicle may be a white van or SUV.
NBC 5's Bianca Castro contributed to this report.