Rash of burglaries in Pasco neighborhood under investigation

Crime watch groups on the decline
Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 18:11:41-04

Rich Lubanski said his Holiday neighborhood has come a long way.

“Three, four years ago it was in pretty rough shape. There’s been a lot of abandoned houses. Quite a bit of crime happening here,” Lubanski said.

And while  said things have gotten a lot better, he’s concerned about a recent string of home burglaries in the area.

The Pasco Sheriff’s office said the break-ins are happening in the middle of the day in the La Villa Gardens community, with thieves breaking in through windows or sliding glass doors.

Two guns are among the stolen property.

“These residents are really good in this community. They are like family to us. So we do take it personal that someone is preying on them and breaking into their houses,” said Sgt. Chris Thomas.

Surveillance cameras show images of a man, a truck, and someone riding a bike in the area.

Investigators said they are all suspicious and they want to figure out who they are.

Holiday used to have more neighborhood crime watch groups to help keep an eye on things. But Rich said it’s tough to get people involved, especially those who are renters.

“It sounds like a great idea. But when it comes to actually doing it, it’s a difficult thing to pull off.”

There’s also funding problems to get money for a patrol car and insurance. 

Some may be have been scared off after the fallout after the Trayvon Martin case.

“When it comes to confronting them you have to have a plan and how are you going to confront it. And that can be a pretty scary situation,” said Lubanwski.

While many neighborhood watch groups are gone, residents in Holiday are teaming up with the sheriff’s office and county leaders.

They’ll go on a bus tour later this month, where trouble spots will be pointed out, and strategies discussed.

In the meantime, deputies said if you see anyone that sees suspicious let them know.