Five Burglaries in Northwest Gainesville
Homeowners in some neighborhoods in Northwest Gainesville are busy strengthening security measures around their homes after a series of break-ins Tuesday morning.
Investigators believe that five reported home burglaries are related.
"It was mostly a glass door and they just smashed it. There was glass all over the bathroom here," said Diane Peele.
On Tuesday, Peele found out her home in the Summer Creek neighborhood had been burglarized.
"My daughter called me at work frantic. Screaming that the window was broken," said Peele.
Her home is just one out five homes in Northwest Gainesville that were broken into between 6 a.m and 1 p.m.
Detectives believe all five burglaries are related because all five homes are in close proximity to each other. Peele was burglarized, as well as her neighbor who lives across the street.
The other homes are in three other neighborhoods. One in Huntington, another in Summit Oaks and in Meadow Brook Gainesville.
Alachua County Sheriffs Office spokesperson Todd Kelly said the homes are off the main road where they can't be seen.
"They go to the rear of the home where they can't be seen and their smashing the rear window and then making entry and gathering whatever items they can of value," said Kelly.
Kelly said another reason detectives believe there is a connection is because similar items were taken from each home.
Such as guns, cash, computers, cameras and jewelry.
"I had a garnet ring that my sister and we had bought it in Aruba together and she passed away, so it meant a lot to me," said Peele.
Kelly said residents should adopt a "good neighbor policy" as a surefire way to reduce the chances of being targeted.
Have regular contact with your neighbors, take photos of your valuables and add secondary locks on windows and doors.
"If it's less comfortable to get near a window because you have some thorny bushes or vines nearby, those are things that are going to prevent burglars," said Kelly.
As well as having a security system.
Something Peele is now going to install right away in her home.
"I've never been worried about our safety here. It's only one way in and one way out," said Peele.
Kelly said generally, in most cases burglaries are drug- related and the burglar will usually pawn the stolen items.
He said they will be checking with pawn shops to keep an eye out for those goods.
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