BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. - Your home is where you should feel the safest. At least that's what Rhonda Bitzer thought. For 17 years she lived at her home on James Avenue North with no problems. That changed on Sunday when an intruder entered her home.
"I still have a really hard time falling back asleep without it replaying in my head," she said.
On Sunday she fell asleep watching TV in the living room when her dog started barking at 2 a.m. She woke up to a burglar.
"When I saw him he was downstairs next to the entryway by the front door," she said.
Rhonda yelled at the man and then screamed for her husband. The burglar ran out the door. She chased after him but he got away.
He made off with electronics, money from Rhonda's daughter's room, and Rhonda's purse, which had money she was going to deposit at the bank to pay her mortgage bill this month. She lost a lot but luckily her children were unharmed and didn't even hear the burglar.
Rhonda believes he got into the house through the garage door, which was locked, but has a loose handle.
Inspector Todd Milburn with Brooklyn Park police said the suspects are targeting homes with open doors and windows. The thieves strike at night, while people are still sleeping.
Since late June there have been nine other burglaries just like this one. Rhonda said she's going to do everything she can to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else.
"I went up and down the block to as many neighbors as I know to tell them what happened and tell them to double check the locks on their doors," she said.
Police are also ramping up patrols around the neighborhood and they're asking people to call for help if they see anything suspicious.