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In the early hours of Monday, March 2, two houses on Alderson and Andover streets in El Cajon were broken into and purses and small amounts of money were taken.

These robberies were the two latest in a "hot prowl" spree in which the offender enters premises while the occupants are either at home or asleep. Twenty-one houses in the Granite Hills and southeastern El Cajon communities have been targeted since October 2008, including seven houses in one short street of nine houses.

Property taken from the houses consists of small portable items — cell phones, console games, purses, and cash. El Cajon police lieutenant Steve Shakowski is quoted as saying that police theorize the offender is a visitor to the area who comes into the community for several days before leaving for weeks and then returning.

In January 2009, the El Cajon Police Department released a bulletin urging residents to be vigilant in securing their premises. In February 2009, a second bulletin was issued by the department after it was ascertained that some of the victims heard suspicious noises at the time of the thefts but failed to investigate.

Police are asking anyone with information on the burglaries to contact the El Cajon Police Department at 619-441 1590.

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