Car washes hit for cash 14 times in 10 days

Owner believes it's the work of a serial burglar

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who owns car wash locations in Jacksonville and Orange Park said his businesses have been robbed 14 times in the past 10 days.

Many of the car washes are on the Westside, but there are also locations on the Southside and in Clay County.

The owner, who wanted to remain anonymous for his safety, showed News4Jax security video of a man prying open the control box of the Clean Car Wash on Cassat Avenue with a pair of bolt cutters.

He also has surveillance video of the thief ransacking the equipment room of an Emerson Street location, taking $50,000 in cash and equipment and finding the keys to unlock each of the coin boxes on the property, where he got thousands of dollars in quarters.

The owner feels the same man is responsible for both those burglaries. He also said a light-colored older-model Toyota 4 Runner continues to appear on different surveillance shots.

Anyone that can recognize the man or the SUV is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

The car wash owner filed police reports on each incident and was in touch with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Wednesday. The Orange Park Police Department is also looking into the burglaries. 

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said the owner did the right thing by having surveillance at each of the car washes, which should help police determine whether or not it’s the same person and, hopefully, track him down.