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Two cars stolen, multiple cars broken into in gated suburban Royal Palm Beach neighborhoods

Posted at 10:47 PM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-26 08:00:11-04
Two cars stolen and multiple car break-ins in a Western Palm Beach County neighborhood are leaving some owners puzzled. Some say the cars broken into were definitely locked.

Just before 1 a.m. a Palm Beach Plantation homeowner's surveillance video caught this. A man in a white hoodie, walked up to her car put his hand on the door handle and paused, seconds later he gets the car to open.

"It's pretty alarming and we are extremely worried," said Mark Kwoka, who lives in the Palm Beach Plantation neighborhood.

Kwoka heard from neighbors someone got into their neighborhood Thursday morning and could have possibly had an electronic device that intersects a key fob signal. Investigators in other states are seeing this trend and calling it a digital auto theft. Kwoka says he's able to park his car in the garage, but not all neighbors can do the same.

"If you have a few cars, you have to leave them outside and that's a problem," said Kwoka.

Even more of a problem, how did the crook or crooks get in the gated communities? Palm Beach Plantation has a guard and a gate and across the street Greenwood Manor has double gates.

"I don't know how the thieves came into the gate and nobody sees nothing," said Mariana Gil whose husband's car was stolen overnight. She admits they made the common mistake of leaving the key fob inside the car.

The Housing Association has sent out emails to homeowners reminded them to lock up, but Kwoka says the sense of security is gone.

"This is what we want when we live in a gated community, is that freedom you can leave your door open, I mean unlocked, and the cars unlocked and just come in and out without worrying about thieves," said Kwoka.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to the HOA owner for comment and have not received a response. We also requested incident reports from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, as well as information on whether the car burglar did use a device to get into some cars.