Police investigate multiple car break-ins in Seminole County

Law enforcement officers say 20 cars were broken into, as parents in Seminole County watched their chlidren play sports.

"They smashed this out and it got all over here," said Amanda Ruhlen, whose SUV was ransacked by a brazen thief. "I think it was crazy that it was broad daylight."  

Ruhlen and other parents were at Merrill Park, as their kids played softball. Before locking up, she said she hid both her wallet and purse. 

"I pushed it here and covered it up with her backpack," she gestured.

But police say that didn't stop thieves from breaking the window and stealing.

"I felt violated. I felt like someone came and took my stuff and didn't have permission to," she said.

Another mother said the crooks got away with her kid's birth certificate and other items as she watched them at a swimming lesson at Lake Brantley High, less than a mile from Merrill Park. 

According to Altamonte Springs Police and the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, at least 20 vehicles were broken into between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

They also hit cars in San Sebastian Trailhead, a Costco and the Seminole Softball Complex. 

"I think they're all connected," Ruhlen suspected. "I wanted people to know what was going on and be safe, and put their stuff out of site or even out of the cars completely."

Deputies believe the thieves used a window punch, stealing purses, wallets, credit cards, cellphones and drivers licenses.

Officers said they are collecting surveillance video and are following leads. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).