Burglars dressed as doctors, businessmen striking upscale neighborhoods, cops say
By Keith Landry, Reporter -
WINTER PARK, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Winter Park Police are sending Facebook messages, tweets, and emails to homeowners, warning them about a rash of burglaries. There have been 72 burglaries so far this year, mostly east of the downtown area.
Police are looking for a black Escalade that runs a little rough and some sharply dressed crooks. They said the burglars struck on Dale Avenue and Wooddale Avenue within the last week.
"They are always taking jewelry. They are taking small electronics, i-devices in particular, and televisions. They are also taking some fire arms in some instances," said Lt. Thomas Pearson with the Winter Park Police Department.
Lt. Pearson said the crooks sell the stuff on Craigslist or on the streets, or they pawn it. The suspects dress like doctors or nurses or business professionals to blend right in in upscale neighborhoods.
"We have had people in business suits, some very proper attire, proper looking military attire. We've had persons in medical scrubs."
Police say the crooks do quick surveillance to see if anyone is home. A teen knocks on the door or a person pretends to fix his car in the street, or they drive by. In almost every case, the crooks pry open or kick open the home's back door. Detectives say a BMW and a Mini Cooper have been used in past cases, and they are looking for a black Escalade that might be linked to last week's burglaries.
Winter Park police said evidence here links the burglars to some burglaries in Seminole County. The Seminole County Sheriff's Office made some arrests two weeks ago, but there have been more break-ins in Winter Park since those arrests, so police are not sure how many crooks there are in all.