Serial burglars in Naples uncovers statewide trend
Naples break-insPhoto: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Apr. 4, 2013
NAPLES, Fla. - Shattered glass and shattered peace across several quiet Naples communities.
Neighbors are shaken by a wave of burglaries Wednesday. It's not known exactly how many, but authorities say several homes fell victim.
The crimes have something in common.
Reporter Kelli Stegeman talked to one of the homeowners who had burglars hit her house in Willoughby Acres. She didn't want to go on camera.
The home directly across from her was also hit.
Neighbors are calling these thieves 'The Pillowcase Bandits.'
In the front of the victim's house, there is a spot on her window where the burglars tried and failed to break in Wednesday afternoon. They succeeded, however, with the back door.
"I'm concerned," said neighbor Debbie Alford. She was surprised burglars would strike in her neighborhood.
Law enforcement says several homes have been ransacked in the Willoughby Acres, Palm River and Naples Park neighborhoods. The crimes are believed to be connected.
"I'm shocked!" said Alford. "I can't believe it! we've lived here for 8 years. It's so safe."
The Collier County Sheriff's Office tells FOX 4 the thieves targeted jewelry.
That's exactly what they took at the victim's home that we talked to.
She says crooks took a pillowcase off the bed and shoved the loot into it, earning them the nickname "Pillowcase Bandits."
"Our houses are somewhat far apart," Alford said. "I could see not hearing something that's happening next door."
The sheriff's office believes the thieves travel around Florida targeting neighborhoods right off the interstate.
"I'm scared," said Alford. "I don't want our home to be broken into. I don't want anything to happen to the dogs while we were gone if someone tried to break in."
Neighbors say the sheriff's office has been alerting them recently to
this type of crime and what's happened in these neighborhoods is the perfect example why.
The Collier County Sheriffs Office says to call them if you have any information about these burglaries. You can also call Crime Stoppers.