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50 cars vandalized in Orlando tourist corridor

Windows smashed, items stolen from vehicles

ORLANDO, Fla. – Instead of heading to the theme parks Sunday morning, tourists staying at the Country Inn and Suites on Universal Boulevard woke up with a mess to clean up.

"We were surprised and shocked," said Chris Casinas. "It was our first day, we just got here last night and should be at the park right now."

Orlando police say up to 50 cars were broken into sometime overnight at the Country Inn and Suites. Up to 20 others were burglarized at the Canada Drive Hotel and Monumental Movieland Hotel. The crooks busted out the windows and took valuables, investigators said.

"They stole my daughter's Nintendo DS and broke our window," said Heather Romeo.

Orlando Police said tourists were targeted likely because thieves know cars will be parked at hotels for most of the night.

"There are millions of people who come here and the tourists are targeted I guess," said Casinas, who's visiting from Ontario.

Cornelieu Capusan, from California, told News 6 his rental car was one of the few parked overnight at Country Inn & Suites that wasn't burglarized.

"We got lucky," said Capusan. "We basically took everything out, put it in the hotel room because I've had experience in the past, and that's what someone's looking for."

Police said that's the single best thing you can do to protect yourself.

"Think about how does the car when you pick it up from the rental agency," said Sgt. Diego Toruno. "Does it have a charger? Bags in the back seat? Louis Vuitton glasses? No it's clear, it's empty."

Police said there is no surveillance video of the thieves so they're asking for anyone who heard or saw something to call the Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.

This type of car burglary seems to be a growing crime trend across central Florida.

Two other counties -- Brevard and Flagler -- had similar incidents happen at hotels just in the last month.

While it's unclear if they're all connected, detectives say they're looking into it.
 


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