Spike in burglaries has Sanford residents on edge

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SANFORD, Fla. —

Sanford residents said burglars are striking more and police confirmed on Wednesday that burglaries are up nearly 20 percent so far this year.

Because of the level of violence, police said most burglars slip in and out of homes, trying not to be detected. However, police said, some suspects have shown they are dangerous and investigators want to get them off the streets before they strike again.

"Everybody is pretty shaken up that someone is going to stick a gun in somebody's face in broad daylight," said Sanford resident Karee Spence.

Spence's neighbor along Rosalia Drive came home and found two men inside his house.

The man confronted the burglars, so one of them pulled out a gun and pointed it at the man's head, said Sanford police Capt. Jim McAuliffe.

Fortunately, the victim was able to get away without being harmed, and the suspects took off.

That break-in was one of 59 burglaries so far this year. That's up from the 48 burglaries during the same time last year.

Investigators said the burglary rate can spike for many reasons, and sometime just one person can be responsible for dozens of crimes.

McAuliffe said one suspect he interviewed admitted to breaking into more than 120 homes over the course of three months.

"We take every burglary serious, but this type of burglary, using a weapon, we take it more serious and will do everything we can to put him behind bars," said McAuliffe.

Spence said she's concerned about her own safety, so she bought herself a guard dog.

"He is a certified K-9 dog," she said.

Police said if you come home and suspect someone is inside your place or if you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, call police. They do not recommend ever confronting a suspect.