Retirement community hit by burglars on crime spree

Victim: "We were easy prey"
Posted at 10:17 PM, Jul 12, 2016

When Kathy Oswald woke up Tuesday morning to go to the gym, she got a surprise in her garage she never expected.  

“When I first came down, I have to admit, I was kind of upset. I got choked up, and I was upset,” Oswald said.

For the first time ever in her life, Oswald says she was the victim of a crime. Burglars broke into her detached garage and stole hundreds of dollars worth of her belongings including electronics, sunglasses and a GPS.  

Oswald said at least seven of her neighbors, many of whom are snow birds, were also hit.

“I have been calling them, but they aren’t here to go into their garages and check,” Oswald said.  

Manatee County Investigators said the burglars hit overnight Monday into Tuesday. They broke in through simple door locks on the garage doors, then broke into vehicles and also went through attic storage in the garages as well.

“They were in all of these cupboards, everything was on the floor, they put a beach towel on our car to climb up into the attic,” Oswald said.

Oswald does not have a dead bolt on her door but said after she was the victim of a crime she will be adding one.

"Lock the car, we never lock the car, and we are going to put a dead bolt on the door. That is what we are going to do,” said Oswald.

Detectives said five people were hit. Oswald believes that number will be go up because a lot of the people who live in the community are snow birds and just don't know they’ve been the victims of a crime -- yet.

Until the burglars are caught, Oswald said she will be her own neighborhood watch.

“I probably will be looking out my window during the night to see if anyone else is down here,” Oswald said.