Multiple car break-ins reported at Legoland

Drivers forget common tips to avoid burglars

With the kids out of school, more families are going to amusement parks, movie theaters and malls.

But those public places may be making you easy targets for thieves.

"As we were unpacking, we noticed some cases were empty, and then as you kept looking and noticing more things were missing it became a bigger shock," said Ryan Williamson.

After driving 800 miles from Kentucky to enjoy a family vacation in Florida, he spent more time on the phone than the beach.

"We immediately started calling credit card companies and calling local law enforcement in Winter Haven," said Williamson.

His Chevy suburban and four other vehicles were broken into in the parking lot of Legoland.

Thieves stole a laptop, iPad, a custom guitar, check books, credit cards and cash -- a total take of nearly $4,000. It all happened just one day into a 10-day vacation.

"It really ruins the trip. You feel violated," said Williamson.  

"They think they’re going to get in and out real quick. They don’t even think about their valuables," said Polk County Sheriff Captain Vance Monroe.

Monroe said thieves are looking for quick and easy targets, and it didn’t take us long to find our first example strolling a downtown parking garage in Winter Haven.

"This vehicle right here is prime for thieves. Right here we look in the window, we have a GPS," said Monroe, pointing on the front left windshield of one SUV.

We found quite a few people leaving themselves vulnerable.

"They have a cord coming from the stereo system which could be attached to either a phone or some sort of other electronic device. They’ll look for that, too," said Monroe, looking through another car window.

But not everyone in the garage turned out to be an easy target.

"This one is locked up and secure. No items in plain sight like a GPS, a purse, cellphone or other electronics," Monroe said.

Monroe said if you can’t take your valuables with you, the trunk is your second best option.

Sheriff’s officials are still investigating the break-ins at Legoland over the weekend and say each vehicle may have been broken into using a mechanical key fob. At this point, they’ve also begun look at surveillance video from a local Target, where they believe thieves have used some of the stolen credit cards. Police went on to point out the parking lot at Legoland does not have surveillance cameras.

As for Williamson, he’ll be back to Florida for another vacation but says he won’t make the same mistake again.

"It’s a real eye opener, no doubt. Unfortunately you get lulled into the thought that I’m at a major park and my stuff's safe," said Williamson.

Print this article Back to Top