HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Hancock County Sheriff's Department is asking for your help in identifying a man they say may be involved in several home invasion-burglaries in Hancock County's Bayside Park community.
In one of the cases, investigators said the man invaded a home and took merchandise from an elderly woman while she was sleeping.
"I was in shock. I just walked around," said the 90-year-old woman, who wishes to remain anonymous.
The woman said she woke up in the middle of the night Sunday to find someone had been in her bedroom.
"To think that I slept through all of this, that somebody was in my house and someone was walking around and I didn't hear a thing. I mean, I couldn't believe it."
Even more disturbing, that person stole items that were stored in a jewelry box on the nightstand next to her bed.
"At least 40 pairs of earrings, cause I'm a person who likes earrings. I don't know how many necklaces and about ten rings."
The stolen items included her engagement and wedding rings. She said once she got out of bed, she found her purse on the floor.
"That's when I found my cash was gone."
She said the thief, or thieves, got away with more than $120 in cash and the jewelry before leaving her home.
Investigators believe a man captured on surveillance video breaking into another home just around the corner may be behind the home invasion.
"We believe they are linked because of the same pattern that they're using," said Johnny Alison, an investigator with the Hancock County Sheriff's Department. "They're knocking on doors, verifying that nobody is home. Once they are verifying that no one is home, they're coming back and making entry into the homes."
"What you have is a suspect who is brave enough to enter a home while a victim or homeowner is asleep," Investigator Brandon Normand said. "The intruder is going through the back of the houses."
Investigators said they're not sure if the thief works alone or has accomplices.
"He is seen in the video getting into a vehicle with other people in the vehicle. We don't know if those people were involved or just giving him a ride," said Alison.
As for the 90-year-old victim, her daughters now want her to move.
"They don't want me to stay here, let's put it that way. And I'm determined I'm going to stay here. I'm not going to let them put me out."
If you have any information that could help investigators, you're asked to call the Hancock County Sheriff's Department at (228) 466-6900.