Two houses in El Cajon were burglarized early this morning, possibly by the same bandit who broke into 15 other homes in the area in the past four months, police said.

The burglarized homes on Alderson Street and Andover Road are within about a block of each other, according to the El Cajon Police Department, which said 15 similar break-ins have been reported in the Granite Hills and southeast areas of El Cajon since mid-October.

People were home during both of this morning's burglaries, police said.

Items that have been taken since the burglary spree began have included wallets, purses, cellular phones and other easily carried belonging, police said.

The thief appears to favor entering through an unlocked window or door, police said.