Sanford residents band together after rash of burglaries

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SANFORD, Fla. - Sanford residents are already dealing with a rash of burglaries this year, but Channel 9 has learned that despite police efforts, burglaries are still on the rise.

In fact, some residents said they're so fed up that they're fighting back on their own.

Last week, burglars struck twice on a quiet, palm-lined street near downtown Sanford, which didn't surprise resident John Didonna when he found out.

"If you look around, all the houses (are) fairly empty right now, because everyone is at work," said Didonna. "They're out running their errands for the day, and people look out for that kind of thing."

There have been 60 burglaries in the city so far this year, a 20 percent increase compared to this time last year.

Six burglaries were reported last week alone, and authorities are asking for the communities help to make arrests.

"We cannot do this alone," said Sanford police Lt. Jim McCauliffe. "It takes a community effort to stop burglars."

The message has become clearer to residents. Email blasts have been going out, warning neighbors about the crimes and pointing them to a website where Sanford police post all the crimes they respond to.

The message is: If you see something, say something.

Residents are already heeding each other's warnings.

Channel 9 parked its vehicle in a driveway for less than three minutes and it didn't take for Didonna to notice prior to being interviewed.

"About 15 minutes ago, you were parked in a neighbor's driveway and I wrote down the make of your car and the color of your car so I can call (her) and tell her someone was in their driveway," he said.

It's exactly the kind of vigilance residents hope will keep them from becoming victims.

LINK: Sanford CrimeMapping