Roof break-ins investigated in 3 counties

Investigators in Flagler, St. Johns, Duval investigating similar break-ins

Author: Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Elizabeth Berry, Evening assignment manager, beth@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 07 2014 10:18:04 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 07 2014 11:40:00 PM EST
Winn-Dixie Burglaries
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Sheriff's offices in Flagler, St. Johns County and Duval are investigating burglaries to businesses in the area that all seem to carry the same theme -- the robbers entered all the businesses by way of the roof.

Authorities provided Channel 4 with six different police reports Friday of thieves breaking into local stores through the roofs of the businesses.

Since December 2013, five local Winn Dixie businesses were targeted.

Reports show the first happened at the Winn Dixie store on US-1 South in St. Augustine. Police said there, a thief used a crowbar to get in through the roof and stole $18,000 from the ATM of the store.

Since the St. Augustine store was broken into, there have been reports of similar break-ins at three Jacksonville Winn Dixie locations.

Channel 4 spoke with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office about another case they are looking at, except this time burglars went through the roof at the Gucci store at the St. Augustine Prime Outlets.

"The suspects were able to gain access to the store through the roof of the building," said Sgt. Catherine Payne. "It seems more and more these days we are seeing forced entry through roofs. Of course, most of the time it's entry through the rear-exit doors, but it is becoming increasingly common."

At this point, authorities have not said if they believe any of these cases are connected.