Three east Columbia residences were struck by a cat burglar in less than a four-hour span over the weekend, according to Howard County Police.

According to police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn, a cat burglary is when someone makes entry into a home or business in a discreet way, because they have an expectation that someone may be inside the building.

All three incidents occurred between 6 and 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, police said.

In one incident, the cat burglar entered the residence, located in the 6400 block of Skyward Court, by crawling through the doggy door and removing the security bar on a sliding door. Police said jewelry and a purse were stolen.


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In the other two incidents, the cat burglar entered through a rear window and a kitchen window.

A laptop was stolen from a residence located in the 6800 block of Bugledrum Way, and jewelry from a residence located in the 7400 block of First League.

A police spokesperson said detectives are investigating if these cases, or any others, are linked.