MANATEE COUNTY - Multiple burglaries in an upscale gated community in east Manatee County have residents worried. So far two homes on the same street have been hit in less than 10 days.
"They must have pushed the latch and then the shouldered as heavy as they could. And the person must have been very strong because it just smashed out all the wood to gain entire", said Brian Scott.
Scott is the latest victim of a rash burglaries that has plagued Waterlefe, an upscale gated community in Eastern Manatee County. "The evidence of entry is identical in the two homes. So it’s pretty obvious to me that its a gang or a group of professional that are going around the area doing this to high end homes," added Scott.
Scott says he and his wife left their Fish Hook Cove home for about 2 hours Monday afternoon. When they came back they found the home and been ransacked, and all of their drawers had been emptied. Plus $24,000 worth of jewelry had been stolen. But, the items that weren't taken is what is sparking concern.
"They took some jewelry and watches but they left all the small electronic items, computers laptop, cameras, even cash that was in my wife purse that they didn't even attempt to take and that was right by the front door where they entered."
On January 19th, a similar burglary occurred at another home on the same street. While inside, the suspect skipped the TV’s and the computers, looking only for things he could carry in his pockets, and ended up stealing roughly $60,000 worth of jewelry and watches.
Manatee County Sheriff's Office says because of the price of gold has gone up, jewelry has become a prime target for thieves.
"They can melt it down, they could sell it on the street, they can try to take it to a pawn shop so theirs a lot of ways to get rid of stolen property and we're out there trying to make sure that doesn't happen," said Dave Bristow from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office .
Bristow says so far they don't have any leads in the case and are asking residents to call in tips. But, in the mean time residents say they will be on guard
"I think that anybody who wants to come in can get in regardless of what their intentions are whether they are going golf, or going to the restaurant or whether they want to rob peoples homes," said Scott.