WINDERMERE – Statistics shared on a popular social-media platform about the number of car burglaries at the Windermere Post Office are simply not true, said Windermere Police Chief David Ogden.
A victim of a recent attempted car burglary at the post office posted there were no video cameras at the post office and that a responding police officer said there had been at least 30 burglaries in the lot.
However, both claims are untrue and likely the result of misinformation or miscommunication, said Ogden, who is checking with the officer to see what statements were made to the resident, if any.
“Vetting information is extremely important,” Ogden said. “When I put stuff out on my Facebook … I always take a little bit of time to vet the information and make sure it’s accurate and complete. … None of that information about having 30 car burglaries or that there are no video cameras is true.”
According to WPD records, there were only five car burglaries in 2016 and two in 2017, including this latest attempt. He suspects the exaggerated statistic might have stemmed from the high number of car burglaries normally reported at The Grove shopping plaza across the street from the post office.
“We border Orange County right there — the road is what divides us,” Ogden said. “So it’s possible we miscommunicated or she misunderstood. But I know there have been multiple car burglaries, especially next door to us by LA Fitness. … So from a safety perspective, you should be cautious if you’re parking at LA Fitness or one of those parking lots where they’ve been having some burglaries.”
Although the post office does have cameras, Ogden said police have spoken repeatedly to the office about updating their cameras with ones of higher quality. Regardless, he added, Windermere PD frequently patrols the area around the post office, given the problem spots in the surrounding areas, particularly LA Fitness.
“We don’t have jurisdiction there, but we patrol that corner quite a bit because of the post office,” Ogden said. “I know that we have a very low volume because … we just flat out have more presence. So that’s why we keep a close eye out on the post office because we know that all the other areas there enhance the possibility of burglaries in that area.”
To reduce the risk of becoming a car burglary victim, Ogden advised being wary of parked cars with the engine still running and to avoid leaving valuable items, bags or purses in plain sight inside a locked car.
Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected].