• Winter Park thieves get creative, dress as doctors, businessmen


    WINTER PARK, Fla. - Police are searching for burglars who are disguising themselves as businessmen and doctors and breaking in homes across Winter Park.

    Detectives said the clever thieves pull up to the homes in a Cadillac Escalade, get out and walk around back like they own the place and then rob it.

    Resident Gordon Anthony raised his family in Winter Park, but he said times are changing.

    “We need to stop going through this pretense that, ‘Oh, it couldn't happen to Winter Park.  It's too nice of a place for these things to happen,’” said Anthony.

    Anthony’s and his neighbor’s houses were both broken into recently.  He said the thieves threw a concrete block through his window and stole electronics and jewelry.

    “They had to come in like an eel, move like a snake and get out of here quick,” he said.

    Detectives said there have been 72 burglaries in Winter Park this year, and some of the crooks are getting inventive.

    Witnesses told police the burglars are wearing scrubs and business suits to blend in with Winter Park's elite.

    Daphne Kholer recently moved to town, and she said her neighbor has already been robbed.

    “They said it was such a safer area, and I guess it's not,” she said.

    Officers told Channel 9 they're working around the clock to catch the thieves. 

    “The real geniuses is neighborhoods who work well with other neighbors,” said Lt. Tom Pearson of the Winter Park Police Department. “Everyone knows who belongs and what time their neighbors are home."

    Anthony hears that message loud and clear and hopes his neighbors do, too.

    “It's happened and it's happening in an organized way,” he said.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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    Winter Park thieves get creative, dress as doctors, businessmen