A warning for residents in Johnson County: Burglars are hitting an area while people are at work and making off with goods inside.
That warning came as a surprise to Merriam residents who hadn't noticed anything unusual in recent weeks. They are now a little more cautious.
Burglars are targeting areas east of Switzer Road toward Antioch Road between West 47th and West 55th streets.
Police say they are hitting homes in the late afternoon and early evening on weekdays.
"It's probably somebody who knows somebody in this area, because it's really quiet over here," neighbor Linda Locke said.
Locke said she is not terribly worried. She has an alarm and sees police patrolling the area regularly.
One woman who grew up in the area says those patrols are needed because the area has changed.
"Everyone watched out for one another. You didn't worry about people snatching your children, breaking into your house. You left your doors unlocked. It's just changed a lot. You don't know your neighbors," said Zee O'Neal.
Police are now asking neighbors to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity, and Locke says she'll do just that.
"I'm going to talk to all my neighbors, all the way over to 49th Street, because we're all pretty close," Locke said.
To make sure homes don't become a target for thieves this time of year, Merriam police say do not advertise holiday gifts to neighbors.
Also, don't stack the gifts under the tree in front of a big open window. In addition, don't put empty boxes of electronics or anything else expensive on the curb for trash pickup.
Finally, don't talk about the pricey gifts on Facebook or other social media sites.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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