Police warn women of home invasions in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Baton Rouge police are warning residents, especially women who live alone, to be vigilant after four home invasions in one week.
The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1b9XjyN ) says Baton Rouge police have enlisted police dogs, night-time helicopter surveillance and more street patrol officers to help catch the man or men responsible.
Police Chief Carl Dabadie says the first two reported break-ins happened Jan. 12. The third took place Jan. 14 and the fourth happened Friday around 2 a.m.
Police have not released the exact locations of the home invasions in an effort to protect the victims. Police said three of the victims are women in their 70s, the other is a 34-year-old woman.
In three of the cases, the intruder groped the victims before leaving.
In one case, a 70-year-old woman awoke in the middle of the night to find a man dressed in black crouching near her bed. She tried to run, but he grabbed her, groped her and attempted to rob her before fleeing her home.
Dabadie issued a succinct warning to women across the parish, especially those living alone: "Don't trust anybody. Only trust the people that you know."
The intruder, who at this point could be one man or several different men, entered the homes through an unlocked window or door in at least three of the break-ins.
"There is a pattern," said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.
The sexual batteries did not progress to rape in any of the cases, and none of the women have reported seeing any type of weapon during the home invasions, McKneely said.
Dabadie said Friday that residents should not be afraid, but they should be alarmed. Everyone, especially elderly women or women who live alone, should take safety precautions, not just at home but also while out running errands.
Lock doors and windows, alert police to anything suspicious and watch out for friends and neighbors, police warned.
"We're relying on the community," McKneely said.

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