MATLACHA, Fla. -Matlacha residents are on edge after a series of brazen home burglaries. Precious jewelry is missing. Televisions are gone. And so is the community's sense of security.
Neighbors we talked to say they moved to Shoreview Drive because it's a little piece of paradise. But lately, their paradise has become more like hell.
"It has become like a warzone here. It's bad." Michelle Newlon is up in arms over a series of crimes that have shaken up her family "Its made me fearful, its made me scared. Its made me upset, its changed who I've been for pretty much my whole life," she said.
She's lived on Shoreview Drive for four years and says its been heaven. That changed when crooks broke into her mother's house across the street. Not once, but three separate times. They stole precious jewelry and two TVs.
"My mother was on the floor, crying her eyes out after this third break-in Couldn't even speak.Its heartbreaking They've broke my mothers heart," Newlon said.
Phillip Sisk is also a victim who is out golf clubs. He believes the break-ins started about 5 weeks ago, when neighbors noticed suspicious people lurking around properties at night.
"It's alarming because you don't know if these people carry weapons, or even the fact that there may be some drugs involved," he said.
Some people think the break-ins are happening by boat, others by land. Either way, the sheriffs office has stepped up patrols in the area. Residents are on high alert as well. Michelle's family just installed a brand new security system.
"They're just trash, that they're taking from people who've worked their whole lives to earn what they have," she said.
Anyone with information is urged to call the sheriff's office and you can remain anonymous. Meanwhile, neighbors hope whoever is doing this is caught soon.