Students on high alert after series of break-ins reported at apartments near UNF

Police: Suspect entered female student's bedroom

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students living near the University of North Florida are on high alert after a series of reported break-ins at a campus apartment.

Now, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and police at the University of North Florida are investigating and warning students and residents living in off-campus housing to be vigilant.

Investigators said a female UNF student woke up when someone she did not know entered her bedroom. It was one of several break-ins reported around 5 a.m. Saturday at The Flats at UNF at 4850 First Coast Tech Parkway.

Investigators said someone broke into several apartments through a window. Once inside, a suspect then forced their way into several bedrooms within the apartment.

In one case, police said a suspect entered the room of a female student who was told to get down on the floor. Police said once the victim screamed, the suspect fled. Because the room was dark, the student was not able to give a description of the suspect.

Investigators said it does not appear anything was taken.

"I don't know if anyone can do anything about it, but it seems like an issue that should be dealt with," said Trey Lakin, who lives in UNF housing.

Police said they're doing just that. They've put up bright yellow fliers warning students and residents about the break-ins.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith worked in an area and recommends students do their homework when looking for an apartment to rent.

"See if they have any type of rolling security there that keeps an eye on the apartments during the spring break, winter break," Smith said. "People would assume that college students would be away and at home right now and that the apartments would be empty, so they would take a chance on burglarizing those apartments through a window; more than likely that would be a first floor apartment."

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office reports that there have been similar break-ins at The District, which is an apartment complex north of The Flats on Kernan Road.

Anyone with information on the break-ins is asked to call the University of North Florida police at 904-620-2800, or the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.

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