Thief targets cars parked at youth sporting events


FEMING ISLAND, Fla. – Clay and St. Johns County detectives are looking for a burglar targeting cars parked in parking lots of sports complexes between 5 and 7 p.m. while parents are watching their children play youth sports.

The series of car break-ins started at public parks in and around the Eagle Harbor community, but a similar robbery was reported in St. Johns County.

"I guess I better go to my car and get my purse. Because my purse is in my car. I had no idea," said Clay County resident Patty Tauch.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office released a picture of the suspect and his car.

"At this time is looks like all the vehicles have been unlocked, which is a saving grace for people who don't have to replace windows. But it's still purses, wallets, GPS units being taking out of cars," said Clay County Detective Michael Lane.

Investigators say the thief is targeting cars outside youth sporting events. He's been using the credit cards that he's been stealing from purses and wallets.

"A multitude of them at a variety of locations throughout Clay and Duval counties. Fuel purchases... extravagant ones to the extent that they're filling up multiple cars on one transaction or gas cans that might be put in the back of a vehicle," said Lane.

Sheriff's offices in both counties are warning residents to keep their vehicles locked and be on the lookout.