MURRIETA ( — Police are warning residents Monday suspects are using a new technique to determine whether Murrieta homes are occupied before ransacking the properties.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports police are warning residents to stay alert and keep valuables secured.

The burglars are believed to be targeting homes, tripping circuit breakers and then breaking in to steal jewelry and unsecured firearms, Murrieta Police Sgt. Don Weller said.

“The bad guys will go out and turn the power off to the residence, and they’ll stand outside waiting to see if there’s any response from inside, and if there isn’t a response, they’ll make their way into the house,” said Weller.

The technique was reported three times in the span of four hours, Weller said. Of those three, only one of those incidents was a confirmed burglary where property was taken. Police were called to investigate the second incident,  only to find the suspects had fled the scene.

Weller said neighbors can be of particular help in preventing these types of burglaries.

“Always be aware of your surroundings, and always pay attention to what’s going on outside the street in front of your house, and especially your neighbor’s house,” he said.

Anyone with information regarding the burglaries is asked to contact the police at (951) 696-3615.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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