NIPOMO, Calif. - A quaint, picturesque Nipomo neighborhood known for its distinct look has become the recent target of thieves.
"There's been a lot of break-ins in cars and we heard about a break-in in a house down the street," said resident Leticia, who did not want to give her full name. "They actually broke into my car and my father-in-law's car, so there's been a lot of them going on around here."
Known as the "dollhouses" or the "Barbie Doll homes", the neighborhood is located on Adina Way and Margie Place, just off Division St and Frontage Rd. The pastel-colored homes are a familiar sight to motorists traveling along Highway 101.
Neighbors say the break-ins have mostly targeted cars in the middle-of-the-night and have been going on a while. They add a recent spike in theft has happened lately, including this past week.
"It's kind of sketchy having people rummaging through our stuff and the threat of them breaking in into our house when we're not here," said resident Ryan White.
The crime spree has upset many in the community, particularly those who say they didn't have to worry about this type of stuff happening on the street in the past.
"It's invading your privacy," said Leticia. "We work hard for that stuff and for someone to just come in and take it is ridiculous."
Neighbors couldn’t give an exact number of recent break-ins, but they say it’s too many, becoming all too common and unsettling, especially for parents.
"With this stuff happening it's going to keep us a little more weary about how much we let our kids out and how far we want them to go," said White.
Some neighbors have concerns about the lack of overhead lightning, noting the it gives thieves the perfect cover to strike undetected.
"It is pitch dark," said Leticia. "If there's not a car coming through here or someone doesn't have their light on at their house it's totally dark."
While car break-ins have been going on lately, there has been at least one house broken into, causing concern the crime spree might escalate.
"You never know," said Leticia. "You could be home and alone and out of nowhere someone could be in your house and you wouldn't know what to do."
Neighbors say they're keeping a look out for each other and are reminding everyone in the community to lock their cars and and remove all valuables.