Burglars target cars in Yulee neighborhood, deputies say

Sheriff's Office searches for men responsible for several break-ins

YULEE, Fla. – Car burglars targeting a Yulee neighborhood are being sought by the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies released images of a man they said has been breaking into cars.

Deputies said two men were breaking into unlocked cars about a week ago in the Hideaway subdivision in Yulee.

They were almost caught, but they managed to elude authorities in a high-speed chase on Interstate 95.

Deputies said the men were driving so recklessly in what turned out to be a stolen car that the deputies didn’t want to endanger other drivers by continuing the chase.

The Sheriff’s Office believes the person in the released pictures is responsible for at least some of the break-ins.

Now deputies want residents to be on alert and watch their cars.

The subdivision is quiet and relatively remote and doesn't have many streetlights.

Terri LeBel, who has lived in the subdivision since January, said those are all reasons the suspects might be targeting the neighborhood.

“It’s pretty secluded, so if you’re going to come somewhere, it’s not a bad place to come,” LeBel said. “It’s very quiet at night.”

LeBel said she thought that section of Yulee might be a little safer than her previous address in Washington, D.C.

She said the news of the car break-ins has started circulating on Facebook in the past few days.

“I would lock up, keep your lights on. That’s what they’re saying on Facebook,” LeBel said. “Everyone’s freaking out, saying, 'Get cameras, get cameras.'”

A few blocks away, another man said his home surveillance camera recently recorded someone going fom house to house and breaking into unlocked cars. Another neighbor said people are becoming aware of the string of crimes.

“I think they are; most people have cameras,” Charles Scott said. “I hope it’ll help.”

The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office is asking people to make sure their cars and homes are locked at night and is using social media and other avenues to try to catch the man in the photos and anyone else who might be burglarizing cars in the Hideaway subdivision.

“Obviously, you want to keep your car locked even when you’re not in it,” Sheriff Bill Leeper. “No matter if you’re in your driveway or not, because people do -- as we’ve seen in the past -- go through neighborhoods and check car doors to see if they’re unlocked. If they are, they’ll look to see if there’s anything valuable in there.”

Anyone with information about the break-ins is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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