MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- Residents of the Sunset Trace neighborhood in Palm City are being urged to be cautious following three home break-ins Tuesday.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office says the burglaries happened between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Sheriff William Snyder sent a Code RED call to residents to detail what happened, and how they can protect themselves.
Detectives say a thief or thieves kicked in the doors of three homes on Sunset Trace Circle.
One of the victims, who did not want us to identify her, said she came home just after 5 p.m. from work. “ The front door and the screen were just hanging wide open."
Initially, she thought she left her door open on accident. It took a matter of seconds to realize someone broke in.
“All the desk drawers were open,” she said.
The thief only took about $20 in change, but caused about $500 in damage. She will have to buy a new door.
She called police and learned she wasn’t alone.
“I went back out the gate to wait for the police to come and they were already in the parking lot. Turns out two other neighbors had already gotten home and they also been broken into.”
Other neighbors lost tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, cash and other valuables.
“Just a violation. You work so hard for every little bit you have.”
Detectives do not know if the thief is someone who lives in the gated neighborhood, or it could be someone who possibly gained entry to the neighborhood from Martin Downs Blvd.
One neighbor noticed a suspicious person in the neighborhood around the time of the crimes, but no suspects have been identified.