Winter Park authorities seeking lookalike suspects in eight residential burglaries

Residents of Winter Park are on edge after eight reports of residential burglaries were made within the last three weeks.

The burglaries took place within a two-mile radius of Mayfield Ave., Winter Park police said in a crime alert.

Surveillance footage captured by a Ring camera at one of the targeted residences shows the suspects in similar clothing, with matching baseball caps and face masks. Police suggested the burglars are attempting to “blend in with landscaping crews or pest control service workers in the area.”

Police have said the burglaries occurred between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Deputy Chief Lisa Suepat had no updates Thursday, but Winter Park residents have been very cautious.

“They’ve been calling in any suspicious activity they see and that’s what we want,” Suepat said. “We want people to be aware of who’s walking around their neighborhood, who’s parking in their driveway when they weren’t expecting any kind of visitors.”

Long-term Winter Park resident David Bornstein said he is not surprised his neighborhood is a target.

“I think we get targeted on a cyclical basis by professional burglars who hit an area and then move on,” Bornstein said. “We’ve lived in this house for 12 years and this is, I think, the third time that I’ve heard of something like this going on.”

Bornstein said that the burglaries have made him more alert.

“It definitely brings to mind keeping security cameras on, locking doors and being more vigilant,” Bornstein said.

Winter Park resident Jennifer Hovey said she is frustrated by the slow pace of the investigations.

“I think I speak for several when I say that we are a little bit disappointed in the Winter Park Police Department and the fact that this has been going on for two to three weeks now,” Hovey said. “We’re just now broadcasting it and making people more aware of it.”

Hovey said the ordeal has made her worried for her family.

“My husband and I have children and so we’ve decided tonight we will sit them down yet again and go over the importance of different safety measures inside and outside of our home,” Hovey said.

The Winter Park Police Department reminds residents to activate their surveillance systems and report any information about the suspects or the burglaries at 407-644-1313.