View Full Version : Thieves on prowl in North Port area

12-07-2007, 04:23 PM
Thieves on prowl in North Port area
Last weekend, burglars hit 11 homes and vehicles



NORTH PORT -- Norman Rioux, 32, was asleep in his parents' Salford Boulevard home early Sunday when he heard talking. People were outside his window. They were trying to get inside the house.

Rioux yelled, and the pair of would-be intruders ran away.

Rioux did not see who was trying to get into his house shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday. Police found the screen to his window had been pulled away.

The Rioux family may have avoided becoming part of a rash of burglaries that happened over the weekend. Residents east of Toledo Blade Boulevard to west of Biscayne Drive reported break-ins or attempted break-ins.

Police responded to at least 11 home and vehicle burglaries in which an estimated $7,000-plus in goods were stolen, ranging from a riding lawn mower to a TV dinner.

"It's a peak time," said Chief Terry Lewis. During the holiday season, gifts abound under Christmas trees and in the trunks of cars.

"The unlocked car doors are driving us all crazy," he said.

Over the weekend, three vehicle burglaries were reported. One man who left his truck unlocked lost $580 worth of goods, including an iPod and his wedding band. Victims of these crimes, especially the home burglaries, are spooked and wary of being victimized again.

"It's scary," said one victim, 69, who asked that her name not be used. "I couldn't sleep the next night."

Lewis is asking residents to be extra vigilant and to call the police if they see anything suspicious.

He said the department is putting extra officers on the street in neighborhoods, though it might not be immediately noticeable.

"A lot of what we're going to try to do is plainclothes," Lewis said.

He is also reminding people to keep homes and vehicles locked. At least two of the weekend's victims had left their home's windows open.

"It's like Fort Knox in here now," said one woman, who lost a computer to burglary. She also asked that her name not be printed.

Homes and cars are not the only targets. Police are investigating a series of break-ins at two churches on U.S. 41, San Pedro Catholic Church, and the nearby Church of the Lutheran Confession.

"Just be vigilant," Lewis said.

Last modified: December 06. 2007 12:00AM

12-15-2007, 10:28 PM
If them Chargers had Hemis in 'em, maybe you could catch some of these guys!