Crooks target Fort Caroline neighborhood

Several homes broken into in recent weeks similar to other Arlington burglaries

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – People living in the Secret Hills subdivision off Monument Road in Fort Caroline say several houses have been broken into recently.

The neighborhood is only seven miles from the Arlington neighborhood where at least seven homes were broken into Tuesday.

The scenarios appear similar. In several of the burglaries, thieves have gone behind homes and broke in through a window or door to get inside.

In the last two weeks, at least three homes on the same street in Secret Hills have been hit.

"The day of the Air Show, the 20th of October, my house was broken into in the middle of the day," Marc Geier said.

Geier has an alarm system, a big dog and other means of defense, all reasons to believe his home was safe. But that changed when thieves targeted his house.

"They drove a car behind my house through the grass and entered into the back bedroom, and they took some valuables of my father's that I got when he died, they took my laptop, my wedding video and my photos of my dad and some cash," Geier said.

Eight-hundred dollars in cash, three rifles, a handgun, a laptop and he and wife's sense of security are gone.

"No one ever expects it to happen to them until it happens," Geier said. "I have to board my windows for my wife to feel safe now."

After learning his neighborhood isn't the only one being targeted, Geier is trying to start a neighborhood watch group.

"It seems like somebody's getting hit like every couple days or every week," said resident Dennis Vansant.

Five houses down, neighbors say a burglar tried to kick the front door in, leaving a footprint, but the alarm went off and the burglar ran.

"We're getting tired of it, so people are ready to do what they have to do to stop it," Vansant said.

This isn't the first time the neighborhood has been hit. Erica Simpson said that last Christmas, thieves broke into every car parked outside and her husband's briefcase was stolen.

"It's scary because, I mean, we have families here, this is a good part of town, and you know, we all like to park out here because we use our garages for other things, storage or just other rooms, and it kind of makes you think twice," Simpson said.

Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said that especially with another holiday season approaching, residents should keep in mind that daytime burglaries are even more common.

Almost all of the homes in Secret Hills neighborhood have alarm systems. Jefferson said those who have an alarm system should with their alarm company and make sure it's being properly monitored and doesn't just go off without alerting someone.