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Nearly $10k in tech stolen off boats in Windermere

3 boats burglarized, 1 home burglary possibly connected

WINDMERE, Fla. – Deputies are searching for whoever got past security at an exclusive Windermere neighborhood and burglarized three boats, stealing $10,000 worth of technological equipment.

Right now, no one knows how they got past security and onto the boats that were stored behind a secured gate in a facility managed by the same group that secures the Keene's Pointe neighborhood security.

People living there think someone could have gotten in by hopping a fence at the adjacent public park.

"Well, it seems that once somebody's in there, nobody's going to be pulling in there to check on them," said Eric Wall, who bought his $80,000 boat just two months ago.

Wall said he left his boat in a secured storage facility near his house, thinking it would be safe. Instead, after one night, he found it picked apart by thieves. Nearly $5,000 of high-end sound equipment were gone when Wall went to his boat the next morning.

Wall thinks whoever did it must have done it before. The wires were cut clean and screws left behind suggest the criminal used a power drill. He also thinks whoever committed the crime must have known where to go and how to get into the secured storage area.

"As a boat owner, you leave things in there for convenience. Your boat registration. Your insurance. That stuff has your name and address on it," said Mary Jo Wall.

The Walls are not alone.

Deputies are now investigating two other boat burglaries from the same night and they're checking to see if the same crooks broke into a house right next to the boat storage area.

That's an even bigger shock for the Walls, who moved into the gated neighborhood for safety.

"It's a rude awakening," said Mary Jo. "It doesn't matter where you are, you're not protected. You're not in a bubble by any means."

The neighborhood has tight security, but the Walls said there are no cameras guarding the boat storage area.

They're hopeful deputies are able to catch the criminals by fingerprints left behind at the scene.