Thief targets cars parked at youth sporting events


FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – Deputies in Clay County are trying to identify a man seen burglarizing unlocked cars in the Eagle Harbor area.

They said the man targets vehicles parked in large parking lots while parents are attending their children's sports activities between 5 and 7 p.m.

The tennis courts at Eagle Harbor, Thunderbolt Park and the soccer fields on Lakeshore have all been hit multiple times, deputies said.

"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.

They said there have been about 10 cases involving the same mode of operation and credit card usage at the same locations.

"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.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office released a picture of the suspect and his car, hoping someone recognizes the thief.

"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.

Deputies said the man may be connected to at least one case in St. Johns County.

Anyone with any information about his identity is asked to call Detective Michael Layne at 904-213-6633.