It’s the same MO every time, police say.

They break windows to gain entry to the home. Nabbing a pillowcase from the victim’s bed, these Pillowcase Bandits, as police have dubbed them, fill it with anything of value in the home. All in broad daylight.

Richmond police are asking for help from the public to catch these criminals, who have burglarized more than half a dozen residences recently in the Stateland, Barnes Mill and Four Mile areas. RPD Maj. Steve Gregg said most recently a residence on Primrose Circle was the crime scene of a burglary.

“They take the pillowcase then load everything up,” he said. “Everybody has a pillowcase missing usually.”

A neighbor near the Primrose residence told police an unknown man recently knocked on her door and seemed surprised when she answered, Gregg said.

“She said a white male came to the door with tobacco stained teeth and asked for a name out of the blue that didn’t make any sense,” Gregg said. “We think they’re going to the door, knocking, seeing nobody’s home and breaking in.”

Items such as a laptop computer, video cameras, a Motorola Razr cell phone, various designer purses, cash and jewelry, including a $3,000 engagement ring and wedding band set, have been stolen during the burglaries. All of the recently reported thefts have occurred between about 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Gregg said.

“What we’re afraid of is we could have a home invasion (when residents are home) and we want to try to prevent that if we can,” Gregg said.

Police believe there is more than one suspect involved in these burglaries. The man reported by the Primrose neighbor was described as being about 5 feet 10 inches tall and in his 40s. He had short brown hair and was wearing blue jeans and a denim jacket.

“We have a list of suspects, but none of them have panned out so far,” Gregg said. “We’re doing what we can checking into this, but we need everybody to be on the alert.”

Police already have begun doing extra patrolling in these areas, but Gregg said the criminals are changing to different neighborhoods.

Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the police department, including unknown persons and vehicles. Gather as many descriptive details as possible, such as visible scars and tattoos or license plate numbers and vehicle makes and models.

“If someone comes to the door that they don’t know, they need to call us,” Gregg said. “If they act strange or start mentioning names that don’t make any sense, we want them to call.”

Gregg also encouraged neighbors to watch each other’s homes and create a neighborhood watch group to help catch and deter prospective burglars.

“Get with your neighbor, have them watch over your house when you’re gone and watch over theirs when they are gone,” he said.

To report suspicious activity or a break-in to police, call the Richmond Police Department at 623-8911 and ask for either Maj. Steve Gregg or Sgt. Rodney Richardson.

Kelly Foreman can be reached at kforeman@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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