DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — In an effort to protect its citizens, Dallas Police are raising awareness about a growing trend of robberies in Northeast Dallas.

Approximately 13 similar robberies have occurred at homes in the Northeast Patrol Division since the beginning of January. While there is no obvious pattern regarding the locations of the robberies, police say the area is roughly defined by Central Expressway, Miller Road, Ferguson Road, and Interstate 30.

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In each incident, the suspect approaches homeowners — who appear to be alone — wearing a dark ski mask or hooded sweatshirt. The suspect then presents a knife or handgun and demands the victim’s property before fleeing the scene.

The suspects have been described as both white and black males, 5-foot-6 to 6-foot, weighing between 160 and 200 pounds.

A dark green or black sedan has been reported in the areas of the robberies. A white or silver four-door hatchback has also been spotted.

Police are offering the following crime prevention tips as the investigation continues.

– Always be aware of your surroundings / avoid distractions.

– Avoid remaining in isolated or dark areas alone.

– If you feel you are being followed, call 911 and drive to a public, safe location.

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– If you arrive home and see any suspicious people or activities, remain in your vehicle. Leave the location and call 911 or call someone from inside the home to escort you inside.

– If robbed, comply with the suspect’s directions, but don’t volunteer more than what is asked for.

– If you must reach inside your bag / purse, explain the action before doing so.

Anyone with information regarding the robberies in encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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