A Lodi neighborhood is still recovering after a string of burglaries early this week.
Early Tuesday morning, an elderly woman told police that she spotted four black males preparing to jump a fence into her backyard on Royal Crest Drive, Lodi Police Lt. David Griffin said. The woman said she yelled and the four men fled.
But when police arrived, they found that a nearby home had already been burglarized, Griffin said.
Almost two hours later, officers received a report of a burglary turned violent inside a home on Blue Jay Way, near Royal Crest Drive.
In that case, the suspects, described as four black males, forced their way into a home with two juveniles asleep inside, Griffin said. As the suspects ransacked the house, they woke one of the children.
According to Griffin, the child told police that one of the burglars punched him in the face and demanded to know where the family kept their safe.
The family didn’t have a safe, so the child said he showed the men his mother’s jewelry collection. The four suspects fled the home with a cellphone, laptop and the jewelry, Griffin said.
While police were at the home investigating the incident, they discovered a neighbor’s home had been burglarized as well, Griffin said.
The men are still at large, police said.
Tuesday’s burglaries left neighbors shuddering, and several days later, they’re taking steps to avoid becoming the next victims.
Jill Medeiros, who has children, is keeping all her doors locked throughout the day — even while she’s home.
Another neighbor, stay-at-home mother Jessica Flores, has spent each day worried about protecting herself and her three children.
“We are all still shaken up about this,” she said.
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.