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A thief broke into three homes near North French Road in the Town of Amherst early Tuesday morning – all through unlocked doors.

Friday, two women became the targets of an assailant who came up from behind them and punched them, robbing one of a cellphone, in separate incidents in Eggertsville.

Police don’t believe the same person was involved in both sets of crimes, but they are investigating whether one person was behind the burglaries and a second person was the mugger in both Eggertsville incidents.

They’re also warning people to take a little extra care by making sure to lock doors and being aware of their surroundings, particularly with the holiday season under way.

“Bad guys Christmas shop this way,” said Amherst Police Capt. Enzio Villalta. “We go to Walmart.”

In the Eggertsville muggings, Villalta said the victims, both petite Asian women, were attacked at about 2 p.m. Friday.

One attack took place on Allenhurst Road, where a woman was approached from behind and punched in the back of her head.

“She started yelling at him in Chinese,” Villalta said, and the assailant ran away.

In the other incident, the mugger came up from behind the victim on Callodine Avenue and, again, punched her in the head. Police said the assailant stole a cellphone from her.

Paramedics treated the women at the scene; they did not seek hospitalization.

The burglaries took place sometime between 1 and 6 a.m. Tuesday. Two of them were on Miller Road, and the third was on Phillip Drive.

Police know one of the burglaries on Miller occurred at about 5 a.m. because the burglar was confronted by someone who heard him come in the door. The burglar then fled.

In the other two cases, the homeowners awoke to find items in their homes out of order or missing.

The burglar “stole TVs and assorted things from inside the house,” Villalta said.

Police believe the burglar worked alone, based on footprints they found.

“Lock your doors at night,” said Villalta, speculating that the burglar likely went from house to house looking for an unlocked door to enter.

As for the muggings, Villalta said, “Just be aware of your surroundings.” He said neither of the victims Friday was wearing headphones, but they were bundled up in winter clothes, which may have prevented them from hearing the mugger coming up behind them.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to call Amherst police at 689-1322.

email: mbecker@buffnews.com