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O’Fallon MO neighborhood dealing with a rash of break-ins

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O’FALLON, MO (KTVI) – Residents in an O'Fallon, Missouri neighborhood have learned man's best friend is not always dependable when it comes to protecting homes against burglars.  Margie Campbell lives in the Walden Pond subdivision and she was upset Wednesday afternoon, "Worried, scared, it’s too close to home."  Her neighbor Carolyn Niederkorn agreed, "It’s very upsetting most of the time the neighborhood is peaceful and quiet."

Less than two weeks ago two homes and five cars were broken into while everyone slept. O'Fallon Police Officer Diana Damke said, "If you leave your car door unlocked and you leave your garage door opener in your car you’re leaving yourself very vulnerable it's an easy way for people to get inside your house."

That's what happened in some cases.  Thieves targeted unlocked cars to obtain garage door openers and stole all sorts of items including a T.V., a purse, checks and a camera.

Margie Campbell said, "I want them punished absolutely." She already has a number of security systems in her home; she's now considering extra outdoor lighting.  Plus, she has a dog.  Campbell said, "I think he would bark and he would try to find out what’s going on."

Not every dog is dependable.  O'Fallon detectives said one family had a dog inside the house but did not make a sound when the suspects broke into their home.  Officer Damke has heard stories like that before in other cases, including one involving a silent pit bull.  Damke said, "A lot of times we tell our dogs shhh, to be quiet, and they learn to be quiet."

The thieves also took a car, drove it a few blocks and then left it running parked in the middle of the street.