Former FSU president's Winter Park home burglarized

Crews cleaned up damage incurred during a break-in at the home in Winter Park belonging to John Thrasher, former Florida State University president and longtime state lawmaker.

His home was one of eight Winter Park police say was broken into within three weeks. Home surveillance video shows the burglary at Thrasher's home that happened on Jan. 18.

Thrasher said no one was home when it happened because he and his wife split time in Tallahassee. His daughter, who tends the house, found the damage.

"She went out by the patio where the pool area is and saw the glass broken, and it scared the heck out of her," Thrasher said. "She got out of there because she didn’t know if they were still in there."

Video of the break-in shared with FOX 35 News shows the three suspects, dubbed the "dinnertime burglars," on the getaway. Though the video is dark, three men are seen running toward a car. Door slams are audible, and the car then backs away.


Winter Park PD said the suspects wear uniforms similar to those of landscaping or pest control crews to blend in. The department said the burglaries happened between 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. and were all within a two-mile radius of the Phelps/Lakemont corridor.


The burglars hit Thrasher's home around 7:30 p.m.

"When we talked to the police by phone, they seemed to think it was a stakeout," Thrasher said. "They kind of knew we weren’t there. I think that, probably, had we been there in and out with cars and all that, maybe they wouldn’t have been there."

Thrasher said the intruders didn’t take anything. Thrasher credited police with a quick response and said reporting anything suspicious would help end the string of burglaries.

"We love that area, and we look forward again to being down there," Thrasher said. "This is not going to deter us. I hope it doesn’t deter anybody."

Police are asking neighbors for any video that shows the burglars in action to help with the investigation.