ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Three men were arrested on allegations of trying to break into a mansion on Kilgore Road in Orange County, and deputies said the burglary was similar to ones happening in upscale homes in which thieves dressed like ninjas.
Orange County deputies said they had been watching Frank Bowers, 54, Jonathan Contreras, 27, and Andres Perez, 45. This week deputies said the trio attempted to break into former 'N SYNC member Joey Fatone's multimillion-dollar mansion in Dr. Phillips.
Deputies said they arrested the trio as they attempted to break into the home. It turns out, they each had a backpack with zip ties, duct tape and guns, deputies said.
The home was made famous when it was featured on MTV, and it's now at the center of the ninja robbers investigation.
A Windermere homeowner said two weeks ago three masked gunmen tied him up and robbed his multimillion-dollar home.
"For the first couple of days, it was just purple," said Bill Kitchen, as he pointed to his wrists.
"We've had five in the county, two in the city and three in the unincorporated counties," said Jim Williams, an investigator with the Collier County Sheriff's Office in southwest Florida, referring to ninja-style break-ins.
Orange County and Collier County task forces have been working to track down the trio.
The arrest report for Bowers states, "Based on criminal intelligence information, the Orange County Sheriff's Felony Unit decided to conduct surveillance" on the trio.
The report says, "Each man was dressed in all black clothing, black shoes, black gloves and black masks."
Deputies said the three were staying in a hotel on South Kirkman Road, where a gun stolen out of Collier County was found.
Collier County Sheriff's Office released a statement to Local 6 saying, "We were present in Orange County for the arrests. The task force has been and is continuing to work with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Orange County Sheriff's Office."
OCSO told Local 6 the investigation is active and ongoing.