FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - An increase in residential break-ins has struck the Victoria Park neighborhood, police said, leaving residents on edge.
According to Fort Lauderdale Police, the upscale residential area in East Fort Lauderdale, just outside the downtown area, has reported 18 home burglaries since August.
“We are concerned, just because of the significant increase in these types of crimes that we’re seeing over the last three months, as well as the nature of the crime,” said FLPD spokesperson Casey Liening. “These people are not just taking a package off the front porch or mail out of the mailbox; they’re making entry into someone’s home, they’re invading their privacy.”
Surveillance video captured one of the break-ins. The subject, seen wearing a face mask and a hoodie is seen walking around a loving room while holding a flashlight.
In this case and in several others, Liening said, the homeowners were away, and the burglars managed to breach hurricane-resistant glass windows.
“This is concerning to us because in a number of these burglaries, it appears the burglars are making entry inside of the home. In some of the cases, the homeowners have been – they’re not home, or they’re out of town,” she said.
In some cases, detectives said, the Wi-Fi and alarms had been turned off.
Police warn residents to be on the lookout.
“We wanted to get the word out. If anyone knows anything, if anyone’s seen anything, if anyone is a victim of something like this, they need to contact us with that information immediately,” said Liening.
Investigators said the burglar or burglars have gotten away with lots of expensive items.
“The loss has included jewelry, a safe, electronics, in some cases significant losses, $250,000,” said Liening. “We’re just hoping that someone out here knows something, recognizes the man seen on this surveillance video and can call us and can give us some additional information so we can stop this from happening.”
Police are currently investigating whether the crimes are connected, suspecting a potential link among most of the incidents.
Detectives advise Victoria Park residents to leave lights on or set timers if they are planning to be away from their homes.
If you have any information on these burglaries, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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