WPPD Issues Alerts, Safety Tips in Wake of Recent Crime Reports

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A month after posting crime alerts regarding a residential burglary in the Mayfield Avenue area, the Winter Park Police Department is advising residents of additional burglaries and auto thefts in other areas of the city.

The initial alert involved a burglary in the 1600 block of Mayfield Avenue on evening of Thursday, Jan. 18. Suspects dressed as landscaping and pest control workers were observed on the burglarized property between the hours of 7-7:30 p.m., and additional reports of evening-hour burglaries within a two-mile radius of the Mayfield Avenue property were received between January 12 and 21.

Since February 1, residential burglaries have been reported on Lyman Avenue, Orange Avenue, Whitesell Drive, Interlachen Drive, and Preserve Point Drive. Reports of auto thefts and burglarized vehicles were also received from additional neighborhoods. The City of Winter Park issued an advisory regarding the vehicle thefts that states the following:

These crimes have taken place both during the day as well as at night. Vehicles are stolen from driveways and along the street. In some cases, vehicle tracking devices have been discarded, making it difficult to recover property. Advanced features in today’s cars (such as folded mirrors) can draw attention to unlocked vehicles.

the32789 reached out to the Winter Park Police Department about the recent residential burglaries. “We do not believe the most recent burglaries are related to the burglary crime spree from January,” said WPPD Deputy Chief Lisa Suepat. “Based on MO, there is a possibility the recent burglaries are related; however, it is too early to say since the investigation is actively being worked and information may change.”

Suepat adds that the recent incidents share indicators that would lead a criminal to suspect the homeowners were away. These include:

  • Inadequate lighting inside and outside the residence
  • No vehicles in driveways
  • Packages in front of doors and mailing piling up
  • Garbage cans in front yards after pick-up day

The following measures should be taken to secure a residence in the absence of the homeowner:

  • Activate alarms and assure video surveillance is properly working.
  • Sufficient lighting of the residence is a key deterrent.
  • If you are planning to go out of town, WPPD provides House Checks for your property.
  • Security Surveys can also be scheduled to provide an assessment of your home to detect vulnerabilities and provide better safeguards.

Residents are also advised to lock vehicles and not to leave key fobs or valuable items inside vehicles. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the Winter Park Police Department by calling 9-1-1 or the non-emergency line at 407-644-1313.

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