ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. - In a matter of days, investigators say a team of thieves has targeted cars and homes in Royal Palm Beach, and a woman was carjacked inside a busy shopping center.
“I’ve lived here 28 years in the village of Royal Palm,” said Rita Dailey, who takes pride in her long-time community.
Dailey and many others are now sad to learn about a recent rash of crime in the village.
“It was a nice little sleepy town when we moved in the original section of the village, but it’s grown,” Dailey said.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says it is investigating more than a half dozen car break-ins, home burglary and attempted burglary all happening last week inside the Porto Sol community on Okeechobee Boulevard.
“As a mom of two boys, obviously, it makes me a little bit concerned,” said Vanessa Moraitis, who lives in Royal Palm Beach.
PBSO also says a woman was carjacked at gunpoint last week inside the parking lot of the Dunkin' Donuts inside the Waterway Plaza off Royal Palm Beach Boulevard. Luckily, the woman was not hurt, and deputies quickly tracked down the suspects in Lantana, who they say are juveniles.
“I just think people are desperate, and the way society is, I think people are lax about locking their cars,” Dailey said.
Now, a digital billboard has been placed outside Porto Sol reminding people to secure their property and lock their car doors.
Investigators say all seven cars that were hit last week were unlocked, and they believe the juveniles behind the carjacking may also be responsible for the burglary and break-ins inside Porto Sol.
“We haven’t been affected personally, but we have heard that it’s starting to take an uptick,” Moraitis said.