76ºF

Auto burglary victim says husband's truck targeted

Woman says teens targeted her husband's vehicle

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – After three teenagers suspected of breaking into vehicles in two Clay County neighborhoods are arrested, News4Jax is hearing from a woman who said they targeted her husband's vehicle.

A neighbor alerted deputies Tuesday to the scene of several early-morning auto burglaries on Harbour Town Drive, which is near Eagle Landing Parkway and Oakleaf Plantation Parkway.

Tyrek Hampton, 18, Vernon Arnold Jr., 18, and Kahlil Hampton, 17, are facing charges in the string of thefts.

In one case, a car was stolen, and News4Jax is hearing from the woman who said her husband's truck was that vehicle.

Christina Rupert said she'll never forget hearing the news from her husband.

"He came in and woke me up at 6 (a.m.) and said his truck was taken," Rupert said.

Rupert wasn't alone. Some of her neighbors' cars were broken into. Several personal items were missing. Rupert said in most of these cases, including hers, the doors were locked.

"The back window had been broken. That's how they got in," Rupert said. "Doesn't matter if your car is locked, they're still going to get in."

Rupert said her family's truck was found in Oakleaf, several miles from her home in Middleburg. To make matters worse, she said it took hours for her family to get the truck back.

She was even more upset when she saw who was arrested.

"My kids recognized two of them. So they hang out," Rupert said.

Cleveland Hill, who lives across the street, said he too had a car burglarized. Several of his personal items were missing from his vehicle.

"We had credit cards. My wife left her purse in the car," Hill said. "You can't blame it on, 'It's hot'. It's summertime. It's no excuse. You're doing this because you want to do it. Not because, 'I'm bored.'"\

Rupert now has a message for anybody who thinks of doing something like this.

"I think people just need to get a job and quit stealing from people," Rupert said.

Rupert said she and her neighbors are planning to start a neighborhood watch program. The Sheriff's Office still wants to remind people, don't leave valuables behind and always lock up.


About the Author: