Hurricane damaged home in Marion County is broken into 7 times

Victim: "Stop breaking into my house. There's nothing left of any value here"

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Two years after Hurricane Irma hit Central Florida, a father of two is battling rebuilding and thieves.

John Kelley told News 6 he and his family haven't lived in their home near the Ocala National Forest since right after the storm hit, and he sobbed when he walked up to it on Friday.

"It's tough," he said.  "I keep getting violated over and over again."

Kelley said his home has been broken into at least seven times -- the latest incident happened last week.

"They just walk up and boot the door, and they come right in," he said.

Once inside, he said the burglars ransacked his furniture, his air conditioner and even his children's bedrooms.

"Look what they did," said his daughter.  "This was my brother's poster."

The poster of the Beatles walking across Abbey Road was lying on the ground.

Kelley said that's not the only mess.

He said he's gathered enough beer cans to fill a large garbage bag.

This weekend, he said he has a desperate message for the people behind this.

"Stop breaking into my house.  There's nothing of any value left here.  I'm trying to rebuild.  I'm trying to get back in here. Stop violating me," he said.

News 6 spoke to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, and a spokesperson urged Kelley and anyone in a similar situation to call them to alert them that a crime has happened.

They also urged those residents to make it appear that someone is home in order to discourage anyone from trying to break in.
 

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