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Police warned residents to take extra precautions due to a series of burglaries that have targeted Miramar Ranch and Rancho Peñasquitos over the past five weeks.

The thieves, wearing masks, gloves and hooded sweatshirts, have carried out each of the crimes between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., in some cases arriving in a dark-colored SUV, according to the San Diego Police Department.

“After entering the backyard(s) of the targeted homes, one of the (perpetrators) breaks (a) rear sliding-glass door to get inside,” Lt. Adam Sharki said. “The burglars primarily target the master bedroom(s), taking jewelry, valuables and safes.”

Residents were present during the two most recent home invasions, according to police.

“In one case, the (burglars) brought a large can of pepper spray and used it on the family dog,” the lieutenant said.

Home security cameras have captured video of the thieves approaching in an SUV, three of them stepping into a broken sliding-glass door and some lingering on the street.

Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

– City News Service

Note: Photo credit – Screen shot, @SanDiegoPoliceDepartment via YouTube.