Police investigate car break-ins in Neptune Beach

Expert says important to be vigilant, cautious, especially around holidays

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – Neptune Beach police are investigating a car break-in that happened Monday morning. Police said the break-in happened near Strand Street and Florida Boulevard. 

Officers searched the area looking for suspects. At least one person was questioned following the break-in but not arrests have been made. 

Investigators said a $15 pair of sunglasses was stolen from the car. The woman who owns the vehicle said she's not sure if she locked the doors.

Some people said they're not surprised to hear a car was burglarized in their neighborhood.

"My cars have been broken into and they were both sitting in the driveway outside of our house," said Linda Clyne.

Assistant Chief Tony Carrillo with Neptune Beach police said there have been a few other car break-ins over the past few months in the area.

"I think a lot of people just probably forget to lock, so people take advantage of that," said Patricia Hazouri.

Carrillo said one man was arrested this weekend in connection with a car break-in.

Carrillo also said two people were arrested over the weekend for stealing a couch. 

None of the crimes have been tied together, according to Carrillo.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said people who live in an area where there isn't much crime tend to be lax.

"Just like your house, you want to keep your vehicle protected also," Smith said. "Now we're three, four days away from Christmas so we're going to see an increase in this all the way up to the holidays."

Smith said it's important that people are on alert while they're moving quickly doing last-minute shopping and when they're out this holiday season.

"If you're gonna go shopping at the mall, if you load up your car with packages, even though they may not be in plain view, they may be hidden, still people are watching to see if you are putting things in that area," Smith said.

He said if you load your car with gifts, move it, so people think you've left the area. He also said to make sure things aren't in plain view.

Smith said you should have an alarm system, make sure it's working, and use it even when you're at home.

He also said you should have motion detection lights outside of your home.

Meanwhile, people who live in Neptune Beach are still concerned after the latest break-ins.

A woman in the area said she saw a man trying to open doors to her car around 1:30 a.m. and called police. The suspect is described as a white man 28 to 32 years old, wearing a gray zip-up hoodie with dark writing on the front and faded blue jeans.

Anyone who knows anything about the recent crimes in Neptune Beach is asked to call Neptune Beach Police at 904-270-2413.