Burglaries worry mobile home park residents

Several break-ins made at community in Homestead

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - People living in a mobile home park in Homestead are worried after several burglaries there.

The community, near Southwest 344th Street and 187th Avenue, has about 500 lots. Retirees and snowbirds make up most of the residents.

"They come over the wall. They take the storm shutters off. They break windows. They go in," said Carol Ann Segura, the president of the homeowner association. "They take any immediate cash or jewelry. They toss the house in a couple of minutes, and then they take every flat screen TV that ever existed in the house."

"It's usually at night and they're fast, they're efficient," said John Lovell.

"They used some kind of crowbar or screwdriver and popped the hand lock," said another homeowner.

"They took off one of the storm shutters and on our screen in the back porch, broke the glass and got in that way," said Linda Nettlow.

"The house on either side of me were broken into, and I thought, 'Well, gee, you know, we're here, everything's good,' and they waited a month and then got us," said Judy Camplin.

Camplin was out of town when her home was burglarized.

"We were in Texas when we got the telephone call," said Camplin. "They came in right here, couldn't see the deadbolt and took a crowbar and just pried the damn door off."

Camplin said the burglar took a 40 inch flat screen television.

One homeowner said she was selling her mobile home because she felt unsafe. Several others installed their own surveillance systems inside their homes since the burglaries started.

Homeowners say the property owners won't beef up security.

"They'll continue to come over the fence if we don't do anything about it," said Segura.

Police have arrested a 16-year-old suspect. They believe there are three or four others involved.

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