Sheriff’s detectives are investigating residential break-ins which have taken place in the areas of Sugarloaf Key and Bay Point recently. Two attempted burglaries and four actual burglaries have taken place in that area since November 30th.
On the 30th, in the early morning hours, residents of a home on Starfish Lane on Lower Sugarloaf Key called to report an attempted break in. They said they were sleeping when they heard a bang and their alarm went off. Investigations showed pry marks on several doors and a sliding glass door had been lifted from its tracks. While deputies were on the scene, they discovered a break in next door, at a vacant residence. A door was found open and the inside had been ransacked. It appears nothing was taken from the home, despite the damage done.
Just a few hours later, the owner of a home on Rosaland Road, Upper Sugarloaf reported his home had been burglarized. He told detectives the house is vacant and he has cameras at the residence; he found someone had disabled the cameras overnight. Investigations showed the cameras had been broken. Suspects had entered the residence and taken computer and electronic equipment; they also took tools and damaged a number of items as well. A short time later, plumbers working on a vacant home on Bonefish Lane East found a back door pried open. Papers in the house had been strewn about and drawers left open inside but it appears nothing of value was taken.
On December 3rd, shortly after midnight, deputies responded to an alarm call and found an attempted burglary at a home on Banyan Lane, Sugarloaf Key. Surveillance cameras at the residence were smashed. And sometime between December 5th and the 7th, a vacant residence on Bay Drive, Bay Point was burglarized. A handyman who works at the home came over to pick up a tool he’d left there and found a window shattered and the door unlocked. Someone had ransacked the inside, left the fridge open and had taken two televisions; a third television was damaged when someone apparently tried to pull it from the wall.
Detectives are investigating. They say it appears the suspects are primarily targeting vacant homes. On at least two occasions, alarms have interrupted their efforts. People who live in the area should be particularly vigilant and should be on the lookout for anyone suspicious in the neighborhood. If you see a person or a car that is unfamiliar, or acting suspiciously, particularly near homes that are unoccupied, they ask you call the Sheriff’s Office right away at 305-289-2351. Deputies can respond immediately and check out the suspicious person or vehicle. Keep a close eye out for changes at homes that are vacant, such as lights suddenly turned on or cars parked in the driveway. If you hear dogs barking in your neighborhood, look outside and see if anything suspicious is taking place. If you see something, make sure you call right away so we can send a deputy to check it out.
Anyone with information about these crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.