Martin County Hit With String of Burglaries

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MARTIN COUNTY - A string of recent burglaries has Martin County residents on high alert. As many as four houses were hit in one day and it's all happening in broad daylight.

Sheriffs are on the lookout for possibly a group of people who like to take from others.

Residents are nervous that their house could be next and they're surprised this band of burglars haven't been caught yet.

"I'm shocked that this would happen in this community or any community," resident, Brandi Richards said.

In the span of just one month, 11 homes in Martin County have had some unwelcome visitors.

Brandi Richards' home was one of those.

"My son got home from school around 3:30 and he noticed he wasn't able to unlock the door, because it just popped right open. He peeked inside and saw that our big screen was missing," Richards said.

Thieves stole more than $5,000 worth of goods from her home on Wednesday.

"A lot of Christmas things. TVs, cameras, laptop computers," Richards said.

And sheriff deputies are baffled by the recent spike in burglaries.

"For the entire year of 2010, we didn't have any residential burglaries until the 10th (of December)," Deputy, Ernest Wakefield, said.

Even more surprising, they've all happened in the middle of the day around the same time.

"They're watching. They're watching and seeing when we're here and when we're not," Richards said.

But these burglars are all leaving one thing behind.

"They're leaving shotguns, rifles and other things behind that usually a burglar will take," Deputy Wakefield said. "Wherever they're taking them, they may not want the weapons or they may figure that the weapons might be traced easier."

Deputies have been able to lift a few fingerprints and other evidence trying link any suspects. Richards is convinced it's a group effort.

"It was a 50 inch TV that was very heavy," she said. "Two men couldn't carry it."

"Just keep your doors locked and keep the serial numbers on your electronic stuff," Deputy Wakefield said.

The community has since united together to watch out for homes. The Sheriff's Department is asking anyone to please report anything that may look suspicious.