Deputies warn of spike in burglaries in east Orange County



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A crime wave in east Orange County has residents on edge and deputies said they've put out warnings in hopes of preventing more burglaries.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said thieves are roaming the quiet street and targeting homes at an alarming rate.

"There is a crime wave and we want everyone to be aware of it," Jane Watrel with the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies are warning residents in the Waterford Lakes area that there's been an increase in home break-ins. Officials said there have been more than 40 burglaries reported in the past month.

Homeowner Debbie Compton is one of the area's burglary victims.

"They came in through the back window," Compton said. "They had been through all the rooms, they took jewelry, they took money, they took items that couldn't be replaced."

She said hers wasn't the only home that was broken into.

"They got the people next door, they got a couple of houses down," Compton said.

Orange County deputies have increased patrols in the area, put up electronic billboards and even sent alerts to residents using an automated calling system.

"Our deputies are frustrated; they want to catch these guys," Watrel said.

Deputies said there have also been roughly 100 vehicle burglaries in the past 30 days. The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who sees anything suspicious to call 911.