Madison County, IL (KSDK) - Madison County Sheriff's Department officials say as many as five rural homes have been burglarized within the past two weeks.
Thieves are stealing electronics, guns, and jewelry. Investigators believe the thieves are drug addicts trying to pay for their next fix.
Captain Mike Dixon said the burglaries have all happened along I-55 and Illinois Route 4 in the area around New Douglas, Alhambra, and Hamel.
Dixon said, "Typically what these individuals are looking for is an empty house. They want the easiest target. And what they'll do is have a pre-planned statement or idea and come to homes and knock on doors that look like the home is empty. If no one answers that's where they commit the burglary."
Dixon said if area residents notice anything unusual, they should call 911. That would include an unfamiliar car parked in a neighbor's driveway while they're at work or on vacation.
Also, Dixon said criminals generally avoid houses with dogs or cars parked in driveway.