Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COMBy Bud Gillett

ROCKWALL (CBSDFW) – A crime alert for homeowners in Rockwall and three other cities; some men are breaking into your homes while residents are away, knocking on doors and if no one answers… breaking them down.

Eight times since last Friday the suspects  have kicked in doors in the Windmill Ridge neighborhood, and police say the burglaries have generally come to homes south of I-30 where they’re stepping up patrols.

“It has kept me up overnight,” said recent victim Bill Troth. “I thought that I could walk through this but I found myself at four o’clock in the morning doing the laundry.”

Troth came home at noon Thursday to find his front door kicked in, the hard way. The deadbolt stayed fast, but that was it.  “It held on this side but the hinges over on the other side just didn’t hold,” he said, pointing to the door.  “It kind of upset me a little bit there because it made me realize how vulnerable I am.”

Kirby Gathright of Gathright Remodeling replaced the door and described how the suspects got in.

“They run at the door and jump and do a kick.”   He’s heard about similar burglaries in his own Rowlett neighborhood, he says, adding, “Not like this, this is the first one I’ve ever seen kicked in from the hinge side. It’d take some pretty good-sized guys to hit it.”

Sgt. Jeff Welch of the Rockwall Police Department describes how the suspects work.

“They knock on the door, ring the doorbell, see if anybody’s home and if nobody answers they kick the door in. I would consider them dangerous; anybody coming into your house I would consider it a threat.”

Welch says there are 2-4 suspects driving a blue, or gray, Chrysler 300 4-door or a black Cadillac DeVille with a rag top.

One car in Rowlett was described as a black Mercedes 4-door with a handicap license tag containing the letter Y or N.

What can residents do besides fortify doors?  “You can leave TVs on, you can leave your blinds slightly open…If you’ve got a dog that can run loose inside your house and not tear it up, I’m all for that.”

Sgt. Welch says Fate and Royce City have had similar crimes.

Rockwall Police will do a free security survey for Rockwall residents by calling Officer Pjhillip Young at 972.772.6781 or e-mailing him at pyoung@rockwall.com

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