City On Alert After String Of Home Invasions

Posted at: 08/22/2013 7:00 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A North Iowa community is on alert after police say they’ve received numerous reports of strangers entering people's homes.

In Osage, Iowa, where many locals say they feel safe enough to leave their doors unlocked, police say a half dozen people have reported a stranger entering their home in recent weeks.

In each case, the stranger claimed they were simply looking for someone and then left without incident.

But police aren't buying the intruder’s story.

“They possibly could be trying to burglarize the home, or looking for some type of drugs or any items that they could possibly pawn,” said Lt. Jeremiah Johnson of the Osage Police Department.

Finding someone in your home is a scary situation for anyone, but especially for disabled or elderly people like Zack Hoffmann's grandmother, who recently found herself face-to-face with an intruder.

“She has been worried about it ever since,” Hoffmann said. “She keeps her doors locked and she makes sure people knock before she actually comes up and sees who they are."

Police officials said they've seen only a slight increase in burglaries, which they don't believe are connected to the string of intrusions, but residents are still worried.

“The guy could be anything: a murderer, a rapist, a child molester,” said Daniel Massee, whose parents live in Osage. “Yeah, I'm really concerned because there's a lot of kids in this neighborhood."

Police encourage everyone to lock their doors even when they’re home and report any suspicious activity.

“Some people always have the mindset that it can't happen in Osage, or it won't happen in Osage,” Lt. Johnson said. “But obviously it does."

Police said they do have a lead but are not releasing the suspect's description.

Again, if you have any information about these intrusions you are encouraged to call police.