Burglars target 55+ retirement community



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A gated retirement community in Orange County has become the target of thieves.

Over the past few weeks, senior citizens have had their homes burglarized.

The spike in crime is happening at the Gulfstream Harbor Solstice community off Goldenrod and Hoffner roads in east Orange County.

All of the victims are elderly and ailing, and some live in the community seasonally.

Deputies say thieves are taking full advantage of that.

They said despite it being a gated community, criminals are still making their way in.

Delia Bond's home is the latest to be burglarized in the past three weeks.

"They're not stupid, they took the good jewelry," Bond said.

Bond said she and her husband came home at midnight and interrupted the thieves, but not before making off with nearly $4,000 in jewelry.

"I've been invaded; my home. I didn't sleep all night thinking they were going to come back," Bond said.

She's not alone.

Residents at the 55-plus neighborhood are on alert.

Many have installed home security systems since the crime spree started in early August.

About 150 residents attended a town hall meeting last week looking for answers and to offer suggestions to deter crime.

One of which was to fix darkened street lights.

The management said they'll take that under consideration.

One resident who didn't want to be identified wishes Solstice was spending more on security rather than a new clubhouse.

The front gates off Goldenrod Road are guarded by residents. Their job is to let people in and record people who don't have a sticker on their car.

The consensus among the seniors is the brazen burglars know the area well.

One key piece of evidence is a handprint left in the getaway Saturday night.