Matthews police have stepped up patrols over the past month after two home invasions and one attempted home invasion in the town.
Police say the invaders were strangers to the victims.
“The department has…put extra officers in neighborhoods in the evening, and all patrol officers are focusing on neighborhood patrols especially in the evening and nighttime hours,” said Officer Stason Tyrrell. Here's more about the three invasions:
1 a.m. on Oct. 10, two armed men entered a home off South Trade Street near Fullwood Lane through an unlocked storm door. They used guns to rob the residents inside. No one was injured.
At 10:40 p.m. on Oct. 14, a resident of the Habersham neighborhood off Idlewild Road was in his driveway when a car pulled up and three armed men forced him into his home. They robbed the man and his wife and took their car. There were no injuries. The car was later recovered in Charlotte.
An attempted home invasion occurred just after midnight on Oct. 23 in the Coachman Ridge development. A man was confronted in his driveway, but the suspects were scared away.
Because the three cases are similar, Tyrrell said, police think they were all done by the same men. Locations appear to have been chosen at random.
Another apparently unrelated event occurred around 10 p.m. on Nov. 3 in the Matthews Estates subdivision. A resident heard her doorbell but didn't open the door because she didn't recognize the man outside. She then saw the man run to the backyard and join two other men crossing her fence.
A neighbor came out with a flashlight and scared them away. Police don't think that event is related to the others.
Tyrrell says Matthews police are working closely with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, who are investigating similar home invasions.
Though no one has been arrested, police have several persons of interest under investigation.
Said Matthews Police Chief Rob Hunter: “We do not want our fellow citizens to be frightened to be at home or outdoors. We simply urge everyone to always be aware of your surroundings, take notice of unknown or suspicious vehicles around your home, and never hesitate to call the police if you observe something or someone suspicious.”