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The case of unusual rash of burglaries on island seems solved


The case of a highly unusual rash of burglaries on the north barrier island that took place over a three-week period during season may have  been indirectly solved, according to police.

A man detectives say they believe is responsible for the series of Orchid-area burglaries is currently incarcerated at the Indian River County Jail on multiple criminal charges not connected to those break-ins.

"We have a suspect in custody on other charges," Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Eric Flowers said Friday, "and we haven't had any burglaries since he has been in custody."

The suspect was not named because he hasn't been charged with any of the four burglaries – one in the town of Orchid, three in nearby neighborhoods in an unincorporated area of the county. Flowers said the break-ins formally are still under investigation.

The Feb. 8 burglary of a home on Sea Spray Lane was the town's first such crime in more than a decade, according to Orchid Police Chief Phil Redstone.

"We've had some reports of thefts, but there have been no forced-entry cases here in about 15 years," Redstone said, adding that a burglary is "very unusual" in Orchid.

"This town has a unique makeup in that we control access," Redstone said. "Somehow, whoever did this got through the gate."

The three other break-ins in the area occurred in the three weeks before: on Indian Summer Lane in the Seasons at Orchid (Jan. 21); West Island Club Square in Island Club Manor (Jan. 23); and Live Oak Drive, off the Wabasso Causeway (Jan. 29).

Flowers said an undetermined amount of jewelry was reported stolen in three of the four burglaries, and that electronic equipment was taken during the break-in on Live Oak Drive.

Flowers said in February that sheriff's detectives were investigating a "strong person of interest" whom they believed could "move about in these communities without being noticed."