Orange County break-ins rise 10 percent

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - From shopping plazas in Dr. Phillips to neighborhoods, break-ins are up 10 percent in Orange County.

Orange County deputies went car-to-car and door-to-door Monday handing out fliers and warning people to be on high alert following a huge spike in car break-ins.

"Criminals are opportunists. And if they have the opportunity to break in your car and steal your property, they're going to do it," Sgt. Mark Destefano of OCSO said.

Orange County deputies said just this year they've gotten more than 3,100 reports of break-ins up 10 percent from last year.

At least two of the crooks were captured on home surveillance cameras at homes in Apopka and Southchase, but the problem is county-wide.

Deputies said it's not just the car break-ins they're worried about. It's what's happens afterward that also has them concerned.

"It's a big concern, because it leads to other crimes. They go (to) pawn shops, they try to pawn it off and use it for drugs and stuff like that," Destefano said.

"Maybe they're just out for a quick fix. Maybe they just need some money," Orange County resident Bonnie Nelson said.

Nelson said she hasn't fallen victim to the crooks, but said she knows plenty who have and was pleased to see deputies on foot in her neighborhood.

"At least we know they're watching out for us," Nelson said.