A Saint Helens neighborhood has been the target of burglars as several homes have been hit while their owners are away.
Some of the burglaries have happened on East Kappler Road, and people living on this road are now extra vigilant after a string of break-ins over the last week.
Deputies say the suspects are taking anything they can, including guns.
On a quiet day in rural Saint Helens, people are watching and keeping an eye out for each other.
"It's very peaceful, very quiet and a great place to live," said Art Pochert, who lives in the area.
In the last week, that peace and quiet has been disrupted.
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office says there's been an increase in burglaries over the last two weeks and most of them are happening during the day.
"I don't like it very much. I understand there's burglary everywhere and people have a need for money that doesn't belong to them I guess, but I don't like it," added Pochert.
Deputies say the burglar or burglars are knocking on doors to see if anyone is home and then they find a way inside.
If someone is at the house, deputies say, the culprit comes up with a story, saying that they either ran out of gas or are looking for someone in the area.
"They are obviously very brazen because I was home probably working in my yard," said Pochert, whose neighbor's house was broken into the last few days while the family was at work or school.
"According to my neighbor, there was grass marks on his door where they kicked the door in, so they probably came through one of our properties," said Pochert.
The sheriff's office is now trying to warn neighbors of the growing problem.
It has even taken to social media, using Facebook to alert neighbors of this crime.
They've also gone door to door handing out flyers, telling everyone what to look for.
Meanwhile, those living off of Kappler and Pittsburg Road are taking extra steps to stay safe.
"That's the main thing. We've started using our alarm system as have other neighbors. So we're a tuned to that," added Pochert.
If you have any information about these recent burglaries, call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
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