This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A rash of home invasions in the Vistas neighborhood of Chula Vista may have a common thread — or at least a common shoelace.

Neighbors say that a red shoelace has been found outside the home of three residents who had their houses broken into, ransacked and burglarized. The victims suspect that the laces were meant to mark the thieves’ targets.

Police did not confirm that theory, but they did say that early last week three different residences were broken into within the span of a few hours.

“I know my neighbors, so if there’s anything in particular out of the ordinary then yeah, I’ll say, ‘Who is that?” Vistas resident Jocelyn Pugeda said.

On Wednesday, Pugeda’s neighbors just across the street on Blue Sage Way were hit by the thieves. Another neighbor said it happened in the morning after homeowners left. Upon returning home for a lunch break, the front door was open, so they called 911. Neighbors say electronics were stolen but the wife’s purse and other valuables were left in tact.

“It’s very scary … I mean anybody could come in. What if someone’s here? Like my son is coming home, what if he’s here alone and they’re coming in and he didn’t know what to do? This used to be a safe neighborhood; I felt safe here,” said Pugeda.