Wellington residents fighting back after string of break-ins

WELLINGTON, FL (WFLX) - The Sugar Pond Manor subdivision in Wellington has been targeted by thieves multiple times in recent weeks. Now, residents there are fighting back to stop the rash of break-ins before it becomes worse. "You hear the helicopter going around the neighborhood at night which means that something happened," said Kathleen Badgley, who has lived in the subdivision for more than two decades.

Over the last few weeks, Badgley says, there has been break-in after break-in. "Are they going invade my house?," she asked. "You worry very much about even getting hurt."

A spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office confirms that at least nine homes in the immediate area of Sugar Pond Manor have been targeted in recent weeks; with most of the crimes occurring during the middle of the day when homeowners are away.

Investigators say the suspects typically knock at the door. If there is no answer, authorities say, the suspects then will go around to the back of the property and find a way in. "I have pets. That's what I worry about," said John Bessman, who has lived in the neighborhood for 17 years. "They'll do it until they get caught," he said.

Authorities say in the most recent cases, the suspects got away with cash and jewelry - not big, bulky items.

Many residents are now investing in elaborate surveillance systems to monitor activity from multiple angles. The residents then report any suspicious activity back to PBSO. "There are people out there who will do anything for money," said Badgley. "And I think we all need to work together to put a stop to it."

PBSO has yet to make any arrests and at this point there are no known suspects.

Authorities recommend having residents lock their homes and vehicles at all times and also arm any alarm systems - around the clock.

Anyone with information about the break-ins is asked to call the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

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