1 night, 1 community, 24 cars broken into

Senior community in Ortega Hills hit hard

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville police report that 24 cars were broken into overnight in a gated senior residential community in Ortega Hills.

It happened at the Meeting House at Collins Cove community off Collins Road.

"I came out about 9 p.m. Everyone was out here already and everyone was upset," said Chrissy Recamier. "They used a punch to punch all these windows out."

Police are trying to find whomever broke into two dozens cars near the Ortega Hills area.

Investigators believe that the thief, or thieves, jumped over a gate to get into the community. Though only small items were stolen, now they're having second thoughts about living here.

"We were woken by police at the door, demanding us to get dressed and come out because they had already identified the cars by their license plates," said Annette Lambert, one of the victims of the car burglaries.

They were woken up in the middle of the night at a senior residential community that many assumed to be safe until they were greeted by police and shattered glass.

Annette Lambert has lived here for two years. Her car was just one of the 24 that were broken into.

"They had to break the window to get in because the car is always locked," said Lambert."That's what they did to most of the cars because most of the cars were locked and if they weren't locked, they just open the door and went in."

Fortunately nothing was stolen from her car but I'm told the thieves did make  away with money,  glasses and even GPS units from others.

Before this incident, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced that over the past seven days 57, unlocked cars were broken into elsewhere and five guns were reported stolen. Residents say it's disappointing that even when they follow the advice to lock your car, this happens.

"It's very (upsetting). We walk out here 12 at night and walk dogs," Recamier said. "We felt comfortable but we ain't gonna feel comfortable now because the guys climbed the gate to get out."