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Are your windows locked? Thieves target Tampa; ransack homes

10:54 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Nearly a dozen burglaries in the last two weeks have people on edge in one area of Tampa.  

The Temple Crest neighborhood has a beautiful backdrop of the winding and scenic Hillsborough River. There are tree-lined streets with families and kids everywhere, like the Santoyo's.

And, normally neighbors never have complaints.  Life here is good, until now.

"They just broke through my bedroom window," Alexis Santoyo told 10 News.

Criminals jumped the fence at Alexis' home and got in, then took all video games, iPods and a lap top. Then, to add insult to injury. the guys ransacked the place.  

"I forgot to lock my bedroom window," said Alexis.

That's where criminals are finding success.

People who feel safe in their own neighborhood become lax when it comes to safety. One woman said, "I just don't think about it. I've lived here forever."

Burglars are breaking in during the day when no one is home, and they are getting in through sliding glass doors and unlocked windows.

"They got in here at ten in the morning. They got everything and left the house a mess. I'm glad they didn't kill my dog," said Alexis.

The criminals are getting electronics like lap tops and iPods. In fact, some neighbors thought that the men leaving the Santoyo's home were relatives.

Lt. Yvette Flynn with the Tampa Police Department works in District Two in the shadow of Busch Gardens.

"We want people to call us. That's our job. Let us come and check it out. We are reminding people to take inventory of their expensive items and to always secure their windows and doors," said Lt. Flynn.

TPD does not know if this is the act of one person or many, or if the cases are related. Officers are out on extra patrols and encourage residents to call if they see anything suspicious.

As for Alexis and his family, they got an alarm system today. "We want to feel safe."

Follow 10 News Reporter Melanie Michael on twitter @WTSPMelanie

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