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In 11 cases this year, thieves have stalked banks, customers

Investigators work on case in Orange County

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange County sheriff's investigators are alerting the public to thieves who are stalking banks and then following customers who withdraw money.

Sheriff's spokesman Jeff Williamson told News 6 his detectives have counted at least 11 cases since the beginning of the year that all have the same connection: The victims' last stop was their financial institution.

"Let's face it. People are busy. Right? They get money from the bank, they stick it in the little pocket under the radio or whatever the case may be," Williamson said. "Then they go in and take care of their business. Somebody's walking right behind them (and) sees the cash in there. (He or she) breaks the window, grabs the cash and (runs) off."

News 6 investigated the areas where these crimes happened and found out every kind of neighborhood is being affected.

According to numbers provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office, three stalking and robbery incidents happened in a shopping center on Dr. Phillips Boulevard.

That's home to a Chase Bank and a Publix ATM.

The records show another incident took place near a Chase and a Publix on South Apopka Vineland Road in the Windermere area.

They also show five incidents happened along a stretch of South Orange Blossom Trail, just south of Florida Mall, near a Wells Fargo Bank.

Investigators warn customers to be aware of their surroundings when they withdraw money, avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash and always try to hide the money.

"We've been saying this for 100 years -- don't leave it in your car," Williamson said. "If you leave it in your car, and someone sees it, it's going to be gone, probably."

Investigators said they're looking to get results by combing through surveillance video for a glimpse of any people responsible.

If you know who may be involved, you're urged to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.  You can remain anonymous and win a cash reward for your information.


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