FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – Deputies have three people in custody and are still searching for a fourth after a string of overnight car burglaries in the Clay County neighborhood of Eagle Harbor.
At least one person being questioned is under 18. The Sheriff's Office said arrests are anticipated.
Deputies said they responded to the area at around 3 a.m. and found 15 vehicles burglarized. A K-9 unit and several detectives responded and recovered some of the stolen property.
The Sheriff's Office is warning people to lock their car doors and remove valuables to prevent break-ins.
Deputies applauded the residents for being watchful and helping law enforcement with a quick response.
The Sheriff’s Office said the suspected car burglars could be connected to other recent crimes happening across the county.
Deputies took time Saturday morning to meet with people in the Oakleaf community during a neighborhood walk, listening to concerns and building relationships with neighbors.
News4Jax spoke with Sheriff Darryl Daniels about why he continues working to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. It’s something he’s been working to do since he became sheriff last year.
“It’s all about us connecting with the true owners of the Sheriff's Office and that is the citizens of Clay County,” Daniels said.
Clay County resident Kay Smith brought her kids out to meet with the deputies and participate in the walk. She said the face-to-face contact with law enforcement breaks down barriers and ultimately makes the community stronger.
“I can call somebody without calling a total stranger and I think that really helps to bring the neighborhood together and know that they have a Sheriff’s department that I can reach out to,” Smith said. “It’s been proven that when law enforcement connects with the community ,and get the type of intel that we get, that we would otherwise not get, there is actually a resultant reduction in crime.”