SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - After sixteen years of living in Century Village, Irwin Frank really takes the time to make sure his windows and doors are locked. "We have very limited means of protecting ourselves from intruders."
Frank and others say intruders have struck at least nine condos in the Southampton area of the retirement community.
"Very concerned about each other's safety," he said of his wife, Sybil, of 62 years.
Mrs. Frank suffered a stroke seven years ago and she - like many people who live in Century Village - has limited mobility. "Why prey on people in their 60s, 70s, 80s?" she asked. "There are some people living there that are in their hundreds. How much can they defend themselves?"
Century Village is a guarded, gated community with 24/7 security patrols. Still, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is investigating nine residential burglaries, fifteen car break-ins and five auto thefts - all in July alone.
"They take advantage of the easiest way to commit a crime to get away with it," said Mr. Frank. "And they feel this is it." Residents are talking about installing new motion-sensor lighting, security cameras and adding more patrols.
"Whatever they want, they can have it," said Mrs. Frank. "Just leave us alone."