CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -

He said he was looking for a lost dog, but police in Clinton Township said a man is using that story as a cover for home break-ins.

Police said this crook knocks on the front door of  a home and if there is no answer, he moves to the back to break in.  If he is confronted by a neighbor, he said he is looking for a lost dog.

Debbie Welby is an animal lover in the area who is troubled by the news.

"They are taking advantage of people because most people want to help," Welby said.

Neighborhoods are on the alert in an area bordered on the north and south by 16 Mile and 15 Mile roads and the east and west by Groesbeck and Garfield Roads.

Anne Grzywacz walks the streets of the area and said she is on the lookout for anything suspicious so she can protect her neighbors.'"

"A lot of the people in this neighborhood are not at home or are working very hard to make their mortgage payment,"  Grzywacz said.

Police suspect drugs are behind the break-ins, with thieves looking to quickly grab cash and valuables to pay for their drugs.

Investigators remind residents that Clinton Township has an ordinance making soliciting illegal.  If a stranger knocks on your door, they recommend you call police.