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Nearly 30 businesses plagued by rooftop burglaries

Orange County deputies investigate possible connection to other thefts

ORLANDO, Fla. – A string of nearly 30 rooftop burglaries in the last month has authorities looking for leads and businesses taking action.

Orange County sheriff's deputies said the burglar or burglars broke into the businesses through the roof. It appears the thieves kick over the air conditioning units to get inside.

Most of the targets have been nail salons and dry cleaners, with the most recent break-in being at Maria's Nails & Spa at the corner of Orange Blossom Trail and Wetherbee Road.

At least two other Orange County businesses, including restaurants, were burglarized in similar fashion within the last week.

Chris Theophilus owns Bark Avenue Bakery and she said her store was broken into last Tuesday.
"You get here and there are police cars everywhere and it just kind of shakes you," said Theophilus.

Theophilus says whoever broke in took a big risk because it's a 30-foot drop from the roof to her store's floor.  Once inside, the burglar stole the loose change that was in the cash register.

"It just doesn't make any sense.  I mean, it's not like we are a jewelry store," said Theophilus.

Other break-ins, though, have caused significant damage and loss. Business owners estimate that between all the break-ins there are nearly $10,000 worth of damages and loss.

Nima Farshid, who own Shala Salon on Sand Lake Road, says he's warned employees to take extra precautions and protect computers in case they are stolen.

"We think about what they could possibly be after, and we try to hide it so that it doesn't give them some sort of incentive," said Farshid.

Most of the break-ins have occurred in strip malls near on Conroy, Kirkman and Sand Lake roads.

Deputies said they are investigating most of the cases but declined to comment because of an on-going investigation.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.