Man wanted in string of car burglaries in Turkey Lake Road shopping center

Deputies say man targets cars in Orange County parking lots

Published On: Sep 13 2012 11:55:24 AM EDT   Updated On: Sep 13 2012 06:38:17 PM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Orange County deputies are searching for the man they say has been breaking into dozens of cars while people shop.

Deputies said the culprit is targeting cars parked at stores along Turkey Lake Road near Sand Lake Road and International Drive. The shopping center has a Walmart, Whole Foods market, Gold's Gym and office buildings near Dr. Phillips Hospital.

[PICS: Surveillance pictures of culprit]

According to deputies, the man parks his car, then walks through the parking lot inspecting cars. He then drives his own car next to the target, hops out, smashes the window and steals whatever is inside before driving away.

Deputies say in the past month, the man has stolen items like cameras and iPads and has taken victims' credit cards and used them immediately after the burglary at Lowe's or Walmart.

In one instance, a man parked is car in front of the Whole Foods on Sand Lake Road and when he came back from the store, a bag that contained $3,000 cash, a concealed weapons permit and a 38-caliber semi-automatic handgun.

Authorities are urging drivers to be more careful with what they leave in their cars, like Christian Pederson, who left his driver's license and debit card in plain sight.

"I come from a small town in Pennsylvania. I've only been down here a year, year and a half. So old habits die hard," Pederson told Local 6.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.