St. Petersburg, Florida - At least nine homes were broken into recently in several St. Petersburg communities. St. Petersburg police say in all of the cases the thieves were able to get in by prying sliding doors open or by breaking through homeowners regular doors or french doors.
On Monday in the the Northeast Park community of St. Petersburg where a resident along 34th Avenue North was broken into, some residents were already working to secure their homes.
John Bauer has lived nearby for 10 years.
"It seems like a calm, safe, quiet area, so the fact that there are break ins is kind of surprising to me."
In this working class neighborhood many residents' sense of security is now broken.
Stay-at-home mom Star Neikens says, "I'm scared."
Neikens and many of her neighbors are really upset over the way detectives say the thieves have been able to get in. She says it's time to make some changes at her home.
"I believe we're going to go with double-lock deadbolts."
Meanwhile, as John Bauer looked at a map of all the homes that have been hit so far, he wonders whether having three dogs is enough.
"People do come up here selling security systems frequently. They knock on the door to try and do that and I never thought I needed one so, I don't know, maybe I'll have to think about that."
Nearby at Ace Pinellas Garden and Hardware at 2739 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North in St. Petersburg, Larry Krueger showed 10 News other affordable options including a dual function door security bar for about $25 to shore up standard doors.
Krueger also showed us what's called a door blocker to prevent sliding glass doors from being opened.
"This particular door blocker could run anywhere from $15 to $19.99," he says.
For french doors, he recommends strong bolts which cost about $6 a piece adding, "It makes an awful lot of noise when you're trying to get these out."
Home security items can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Meanwhile, St. Pete police aren't sure if one person, or several people, are responsible for the recent break ins, but they want residents to be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior so they can investigate.