OCOEE, Fla. - In Ocoee, WFTV found police started extra patrols Thursday after the department saw a sudden spike in car thefts at the West Oaks Mall.
In one trip around the mall with Ocoee police, Channel 9’s Racquel Asa saw at least a dozen Honda and Dodge vehicles. Police said they’re paying close attention to those makes and models because
those are what thieves have recently been after.
“To know that they target Hondas, that's a little concerning,” said Honda owner Scott Pletcher.
In one week, the thieves stole two cars and tried to steal four others, police said.
Last year, only one car was stolen from the mall.
“There is correlation between gangs and all types of crimes, and we do know in the past and they do steal cars,” said Detective Leo Gomez.
Authorities said security cameras around the mall weren’t working when the recent thefts happened, but police said the issue was resolved when the mall discovered the cameras weren't online.
WFTV also found out six cars were stolen from the Festival Bay Mall and Florida Mall since January. Orlando police said they’re working several leads regarding the thefts at Festival Bay Mall.