Police investigate appliance thefts from new homes

- Police in Apopka arrested two suspects early Tuesday morning after a rash of appliance thefts in the newly constructed community.

According to court documents, officers had been doing routine checks in the Apopka Woods neighborhood “due to recent burglaries.”  Around 3 a.m. Tuesday, an officer spotted a small U-Haul pulling into the subdivision at Pelock Drive and Apopka Road.

The officer said he called for backup, then found truck parked outside two empty homes.  He said he watched two men — later identified as David Taylor, Jr. and James Hawkins, Jr. — load two packages of laminate flooring and a microwave into the truck.

The officer said the suspects ran when he approached them, but they were caught a short time later by other officers who had responded to the scene.  

“Now that they have caught some people, it makes me feel a little bit better,” said Tom Zammatore, who moved into a brand new home around the corner from the crime scene just a few days earlier.

Zammatore said thieves struck his home before he moved in, getting away with a dishwasher and two ovens. 

“Our builder told us, yeah, we had a couple people coming through the neighborhood coming to houses that were near finished or almost finished and they were just taking appliances,”  he said, adding that the builder told him police collected fingerprints from his sliding glass door.

Apopka Police have not charged Taylor or Hawkins in connection with any other break-ins, but a spokesman said detectives continue to work the case. 

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