Residents on edge after patio and inside doors damaged in series of break-ins

Posted at 6:02 PM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 21:02:57-05

ENCINITAS, Calif. - Residents in an Encinitas neighborhood are dealing with some rattled nerves after a series of brazen break-ins that have left behind a trail of shattered patio doors.

In three decades of living in the Summerfield neighborhood of Encinitas, Rhonda Oesterle can't recall much crime at all, but that all changed when her husband came home on Tuesday night.

The Oesterles' back patio door was smashed in, and it appeared the intruder struck the glass with some sort of object before ransacking the home.

"Some had obviously gone through the drawers. The cabinet doors were open; the bedroom was a mess. Somebody's been in your home. You feel violated," said Rhonda Oesterle.

Oesterle is still trying to figure out what, if anything, was taken.

A few houses down, the loss was very clear as a patio door was shattered and an inside door also was shredded.

At that home, the crook grabbed a safe that contained thousands of dollars in jewelry belonging to the owner's grandmother.

Responding detectives told the victims that they aren't alone.

"He told us there had a been a rash of the crimes where they've gone in through the patio doors," said Oesterle.

A glass repairman also informed Oesterle he had repaired three other patio doors in the past three days, including one in Oceanside and one in Escondido.

"I'm very stressed, very concerned. We're running into issues of crime in a place we felt so safe. We are worried they will come back," said Oesterle.

During the afternoon of the break-ins, neighbors spotted a man peering at homes while keeping his distance from houses.

Neighbors told 10News the man told them he was selling meat.

Anyone with information on these cases is asked to call the Encinitas sheriff's substation at 858-565-5200.