FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Two guns were taken by burglars who broke into nearly a dozen cars in Weston earlier this month.
Broward Sheriff’s detectives said in the overnight hours of April 7th, the suspects targeted 10 unlocked cars in the Villas of Bonaventure community. Investigators said they rummaged through the vehicles park in the 300 block of Fairway Circle until they came upon something worth stealing. What they found was a handgun left in the glove compartment of an unlocked car.
Less than half a mile down the road, in the 400 block of Ranch Road, the burglars found a second gun left in an unlocked car’s center console.
Security footage from one home shows one of the burglars as he walked up to a car and tested the door to see if it had been left unlocked.
First glance at surveillance video, it doesn’t look like anything suspicious is going on.
In the video, you can see a man casually tug on the door handle of a car. As it turns out, the suspect is actually trying to see what he can steal from inside the car. Suddenly the suspect appears to notice he’s on camera. He adjusts his hat and moves on.
Tyrone Smith’s SUV was hit, he didn’t lock the door. He didn’t really think about it since his property is surrounded by a fence and a big gate.
“I came in, my gun was gone!” said Smith. “It’s a 9000 Baretta, compact, very nice gun. Very dangerous gun.”
Smith wasn’t the only one hit last Tuesday.
“I guess that they got 11 that night,” CBS4’s Ted Scouten told Alberta Whitehead. “Oh my mercy!” she said.
Whitehead is one of approximately a dozen who were burglarized within minutes of each other.
Broward Sheriff’s Office believes four people fanned out in the Weston neighborhood, checking car door handles—all crimes of opportunity.
“I forgot to lock the car and when I picked up the newspaper, the door was ajar and I looked in there and there papers on the seat,” said Whitehead.
Over the past two weeks, detectives the suspect and his accomplices broke into 60 cars in Weston, Davie and Sunrise–and they certainly don’t corner the market on crimes like this.
Just last week a man was arrested for the same thing. He admitted entering into hundreds of unlocked cars over the last few months.
Investigators said that the recent band of burglars is a totally different group, but what has them worried is in one night, they got two guns.
“They could have used my own firearm on my family,” said Smith. “Everybody was home. Just to know there was a stranger in your yard taking your stuff, it’s not good.”
If you have information that can help investigators call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.
Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at (954) 493-TIPS (8477) or browardcrimestoppers.org. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $3,000 for information that leads to an arrest.