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Slew of homes burglarized, officials urge locals to take precaution

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Earlier this week five homes in northwest Gainesville were burglarized in a seven-hour period.

The burglaries occurred in Meadowbrook Golf Community and surrounding neighborhoods. Two of the burglarized houses had security system signs in the front yard to ward off intruders.

Between the hours of 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., the burglar or burglars gained entry by by breaking windows or smashing through doors.

Due to the close proximity, officials believe the crimes were committed by one person or group.

“We believe them to be related. It was the same type of property and the same method  of entry and a lot of similarities in the burglaries,” said Art Forgey, a deputy from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

The burglaries have been categorized as “snatch and grabs,” because the stolen items could be taken quickly. Among the items were guns, money, jewelry and electronics.

The sheriff’s office has set up a crime prevention unit, which offers free home inspections to recommend how to best defend homes.

“It happened. There’s no way I can stop it or anyone else can stop it. It’s done. The only thing we can do now is to make sure we’ve done everything we can to prevent another attack,” Forgery said.

Police are still looking for the suspect.

Sarah Brand edited this story online.

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