WOODMERE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Residents of the South Shore of Long Island were subjected to an unwelcome New Year’s holiday tradition this week.

As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, multiple homeowners were targeted in the middle of the afternoon by a would-be robber.

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One Woodmere family got the fright of their lives. They said the suspect didn’t take anything, but did get into their house.

It was New Year’s Day Sunday afternoon when police said a bold thief wearing a green jacket, who was determined to break in and burglarize, went on a crime spree across Nassau County’s Five Towns – Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Inwood, Woodmere, and Hewlett.

“They told us to stay sheltered because they weren’t sure if he was in the house,” said Kymmie Baker of Woodmere.

Police warned the Baker family the criminal first broke through a rear basement door on Howard Avenue at 1 p.m.

“Most of the streets around the perimeter of the house were blocked off, and you know, this community — we feel like really safe — but when things like this happen, you get really worried and nervous that it could be our house next,” said Zach Baker of Woodmere.

In Cedar Bay Park on Redwood Drive, a victim said the suspect tried prying open her front door.

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“I am shaken, because you know, it happened, then I found out around the block it happened,” the woman said through her door.

“There were tons of police all over the neighborhood canvassing. There was SWAT teams, and going all over the place,” said Steven Unger of Cedarhurst.

“We are intensifying our patrols in the area,” said Nassau County police Detective Lt. Richard Brun.

The crook’s final attempt for the afternoon was in Park Circle in Cedarhurst. An elderly couple was napping upstairs when the intruder tried kicking in the side door.

“It’s very scary,” said Sandy Bienenstock of Cedarhurst. “I just think the person wasn’t too bright if he went from block and then he came to the next block.”

“We make sure alarm is set, locks are locked, and just keep an eye out to make sure if I see anything suspicious, I call the police,” said Dov Sternberg of Cedar Bay Park.

One victim said she saw the suspect remove a colorful wool hat as he fled the area. Detectives are seeking additional witnesses.

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Police are not sure if the suspect was looking for a place to hide, or if his motivation was to steal. They hope to release a better description, as well as a sketch, very soon.