Police: 20 home break-ins might be related

Sheriff's Deputies in Pasco and Hillsborough are looking for thieves who are brazenly breaking into homes.

They are investigating at least 20 break-ins to see if they are connected, and asking residents to keep a close watch.

"My wedding ring is gone," said Michelle Serra of Wesley Chapel, whose home was burglarized. "My daughter's surprise sixteenth birthday charm bracelet that my parents had been building for her since she was born."

Pasco Deputies say ten homes have been hit since April 4th, often left with broken doors after being kicked in.

"They knocked on the door first to see if anybody was home. And she would have done what we told her to do, to not answer the door, and they would have been inside with her, and that petrified us," said Serra. "It is your peace of mind and security that is mostly what was affected."

The thieves seem to be choosing larger homes between 9 and 5 o'clock.

"It appears that they are looking primarily for areas where jewelry and small items like a handgun would be located," said Sgt. Zak Arey of the Pasco Co. Sheriff's Office.

Pasco is also investigating whether their ten burglaries are tied to at least ten more in Hillsborough County.

They won't say what evidence they've turned up, but say they all seem similar enough.

"If you are home and somebody knocks on your door who is strange, that you are not familiar with, talk to them through the door, acknowledge you're home," said Arey.

Deputies say they suspects spend very little time inside the home and run out with whatever they can quickly carry and then pawn or sell on the street for drugs.

Serra says in her case, they used her own pillowcase to take her jewelry out.

"I think it's brazen and unfortunate," said Serra. "I wish these people would just not do that."

If you have any information, you are asked to call the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

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