OVIEDO, Fla. - Oviedo police continue to investigate a rash of car burglaries, including 35 that took place over the weekend.
In 2013, 109 vehicles were burglarized in Oviedo. So far this year, 79 vehicles have been burglarized and two vehicles have been stolen.
Oviedo police said in all of the burglaries this year, there have been no signs of forced entry, indicating the vehicles were unlocked.
"Criminals are simply walking the streets at night, pulling on car handles, entering the unlocked vehicles and stealing any valuables found within," Oviedo police said in an email.
Over the weekend, nearly three dozen vehicles were burglarized and one vehicle was stolen in the Lake Rogers, Waverley Woods and Alafaya Woods subdivisions.
The car that was stolen was Stan McCoy's 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
"At first I thought it was a joke and then reality set in," said McCoy. "They took my wallet, my driver's license, my credit cards."
McCoy admits he left his car doors unlocked over the weekend. He said he canceled his credit cards, but not before the thieves started using them. He has a strong message for the group responsible.
"Get a real job, help the community. Don't damage your community. We're all in tough times, it only gets worse when people do things like this."
In January, 43 vehicles were burglarized in subdivisions along Lockwood Boulevard. In those burglaries, detectives identified and arrested a person who confessed to committing some of the burglaries, according to officials.
Other parts of eastern Seminole and Orange counties have been experiencing a similar crime wave, police said. Detectives said they believe a loosely organized group of individuals is committing the burglaries.
The Oviedo Police Department kicked off Operation Safeguard to combat the burglaries, and officers have begun going door to door to meet with residents and remind them to lock their vehicles' and secure their valuables. Residents can also expect an increase in officers patrolling neighborhoods, police said.
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