ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Police in Ann Arbor met with residents Tuesday to discuss a surge in home invasions.
The Ann Arbor police said at least 20 homes in the northwest section of the city have been broken-into since May, and many more have gone unreported.
"We need to get our citizens to tighten up and understand that this is bigger than just our community -- it's the economy and there are some desperate people doing desperate things we need to be mindful of," said Ann Arbor Police Chief Barnett Jones.
Investigators said the thief or group of thieves strike during the day, while people are at work between the hours of 9 and 6 p.m.
The thief or thieves gain entry to the home by kicking in the front door, pushing up window screens, entering through unlocked doors and cutting window screens.
Cash, electronics and jewelry have been reported missing from the homes.
"I had my bike stolen," Ann Arbor homeowner Kyle Rhodes, but he never reported the incident.
Jones said he believes most, if not all, of the robberies are connected.
A person described as "suspicious-looking" has been seen in the area around the time of a couple of the break-ins.
Neighbors described the person as a black man, between 18 to 25 years old, with a thin to medium build, short Afro and facial hair on his chin.
A few neighborhood watch groups have met with police to discuss how to protect themselves, but the most recent meeting grew into a community-wide event.
"This is Ann Arbor and it's on my watch, so I'm going to pull out all the stops," said Jones.
The original meeting was scheduled for last Saturday, but because the interest was so high and it conflicted with a Jewish holiday, it was rescheduled to Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Community Center, 625. N. Main Street.
Anyone with information can call Ann Arbor police at 734-794-6910.