12 Sebring businesses burglarized by pulling deadbolt

SEBRING, Fla. (WFLA) – Business owners should take extra precautions after a string of burglaries in Sebring in Highlands County on Saturday night.

There were 12 burglaries where the suspect used a tool to pull the deadbolt mechanisms out of doors in the Sebring Plaza, Fairmount Cinema Square, the Golfer’s World Plaza and the Fountain Plaza.

The suspect then entered the businesses and stole cash that had been left in cash registers.

“There are several steps businesses can take to help reduce the risk of this kind of crime,” Crime Prevention Practitioner Nell Hays of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office said. “One of the easiest is a metal security ring that goes around the outside of a deadbolt and makes it much more difficult for a burglar to remove the mechanism. That can be installed by a locksmith or even the business owner in almost no time.”

Hays also said it is important for businesses to make sure their security systems are in proper working order.

Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund encouraged all businesses to sign up for the HCSO’s Project COP (Cameras on Patrol). The program is a database that makes it easier for investigators to find cameras near a crime scene that may have captured valuable evidence. The registration for that can be found at hcso-news.org/project-cop.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call the Sebring Police Department at 863-471-5108, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office at 863-402-7200 or Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or heartlandcrimestoppers.com. Crime Stoppers tips are eligible for a cash reward.

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