VOLUSIA COUNTY, Florida — A rash of home burglaries in rural areas of Southeast Volusia County has prompted the Sheriff’s Office to warn residents to take precautions and report any suspicious activity. A half dozen homes have been broken into in March, primarily in the general area near State Road 415 and Lake Ashby.
The targeted homes are often in secluded areas off of dirt roads. It’s believed that the thief or thieves knock on the door first to determine if anyone is home, and then forced entry is made if no one answers. Victims have reported electronics, money, firearms, jewelry and other valuables stolen. Locations where these crimes happened include Twisted Pine Drive, Budd Road, Falling Leaf Drive, Napoli Lane, Corto Ridge Road and Rasley Road.
Residents are asked to be on the lookout for any unfamiliar vehicles and people driving through rural, residential areas where non-residents normally wouldn’t travel. For residents’ own safety, don’t approach suspicious people, but instead immediately call 911 and be ready to provide a description of the people, their vehicles, their activities and their location or direction of travel.
Anyone who has information about the burglaries or previous suspicious activity is asked to call Sergeant Richard Fortin at (386) 423-3301 or Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida, toll-free, at (888) 277-TIPS. Tipsters can also provide information by texting “TIP231 plus the message” to CRIMES. Anyone who provides information to Crime Stoppers will remain anonymous and can qualify for a reward of up to $1,000.
Safety tips concerning home burglaries include:
- Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
- Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
- Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
- Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
- An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places — burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
- Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase, original value and serial numbers. Keep a copy of this information in a safe place away from home — this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
- Do not enter; the perpetrator may still be inside.
- Use a neighbor’s phone or your cell phone to call police.
- Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
- Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
- Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.