Thefts at Kissimmee pool have police on alert

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. —

Several car break-ins in recent months have the Kissimmee Police Department on high alert in Osceola County

Police said there have been eight car burglaries at the Makinson Aquatic Center on Denn John Lane in Kissimmee.

Police are worried about an increase in crime there now that school is out and the pool is crowded.

Police are stepping up patrols to find cars that could be targets for thieves.

Desirae Arana arrived at the aquatic center with a lot of kids and a lot of stuff to keep track of.

"Mentally prepare yourself for every single thing. Your kids, your wallet, your things," Arana said.

Arana said it's easy to become distracted and leave something behind in the car.

Thieves know that too.

"They may be in the parking lot watching. They may be watching to see who has eight kids with her and did she lock that door or not?" said Stacie Miller with the Kissimmee Police Department.

The Kissimmee Police Department said this summer, officers will patrol the parking lot, checking for doors left unlocked and items left in plain sight.

Some officers will also park and do paperwork at the aquatic center just to maintain a presence.

If an officer finds a car door unlocked, they may lock it for a driver and leave a note warning drivers to be more careful.

Police said the recent thefts have been crimes of opportunity, with people leaving iPods, phones and GPS systems out in the open. They're not sure if the thefts are related, but they do know a lot can be done to prevent them.

Sue Rodriguez said she locks items she doesn't bring along in her trunk.

She said the thought of crooks targeting kids and parents trying to enjoy their summer makes her angry.

"You can't win nowadays. People, get a job," Rodriguez said.

Because this is the first week kids are out of school, pool-goers will probably see an increased police presence right away at pools like the Makinson Aquatic Center.

Police said cars parked near ball fields adjacent to the pool have been targeted as well, so they're asking people there to be extra cautious.