Would-Be Burglars Caught on Camera at Home in Fort Lauderdale's Coral Ridge Neighborhood: Police

"I had a feeling that morning that something was going to happen,” Barbara Sawisch said of the attempted break-in that happened Friday at her house

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Suspects have broken into or tried to break into at least four homes in the Coral Ridge neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale recently, police said. Barbara Sawisch spoke about an attempted break-in Friday morning at her home. Fort Lauderdale Police spokeswoman Det. Deanna Greenlaw discussed how such break-ins tend to work.

    Suspects have broken into or tried to break into at least four homes in the Coral Ridge neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale recently, police said.

    The latest such attempted burglary happened last Friday morning, minutes after Barbara Sawisch left for work.

    Just after 10 a.m. Sawisch packed up her two kids, handed them to the nanny for a morning at the park, and locked up the house. That morning, she made a point of setting the alarm.

    "I had a feeling that morning that something was going to happen,” she said.

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    What looks like a nondescript senior citizen holding a cane at a Coral Gables front entrance would probably not raise any red flags. But an older man caught on surveillance video by a camera at the Villa Isabella apartments on Madeira Street could be behind a number of burglaries in the Gables. Andrea Bonggi and Patty Valdez comment.

    Her intuition was right. Fifteen minutes after she left the house, there was a knock on the door. A young man waited for an answer, surveillance video showed. He began to look through the windows. It didn't look as if anyone was home, and he pulled out a cell phone and began to call someone.

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    The security cameras recorded him leave the front porch, and walk across the driveway. Six minutes later, he appeared with another suspect at the back door. The door didn’t budge, but he took out a window screen and attempted to enter, to no avail, the video showed.

    Then he turned his attention back to the door.

    "You'll see him give some pretty rough pulls on the door which apparently disconnected the sensor, which is what set off the alarm,” Sawisch said.

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    At the same time the suspects left the backyard, what appeared to be a Chrysler 300 M drove to the front of the Sawisch house. It matches the description of a vehicle used in at least one of three other break-ins or attempted break-ins in the neighborhood in the past few months, police said.

    Fort Lauderdale Police spokeswoman Det. Deanna Greenlaw said it's too difficult to say whether they're connected.

    "Their style has been the same for years and years. It’s usually two people, maybe more,” she said of such break-ins. “One will go to the front door, knock. If there's no answer they may go away, sit in a car and regroup, and plan their next course of action.”

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    Greenlaw said the video, which clearly shows the suspects in the Sawisch case, is a terrific tool and could help lead to an arrest.

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