ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – There's a neighborhood crime alert in St. Johns County, where deputies said thieves targeted two Starbucks coffee shops late Monday evening.
The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said two Starbucks locations -- the one off Interstate 95 at County Road 210 and another off State Road 16 -- were burglarized within hours of each other. Both are high-traffic stores in heavily traveled areas.
In both burglaries, deputies said, the crooks were able to get around security measures, force their way inside and get away with cash.
According to the incident reports obtained by News4Jax on Thursday, the burglaries were pulled by the same thieves.
Deputies said they broke the deadbolt lock on the doors, ripped out the security cameras and spread a liquid cleaning solution all over the interior, which prevented investigators from getting any fingerprints.
At each coffee shop, investigators said, the burglars used some kind of power tool to drill into the safe.
Thousands of dollars were taken, and thousands of dollars worth of damage was reported, the incident reports show.
The owner of The Dive Source, near the Starbucks off S.R. 16, said he's seen an uptick of crime in the area.
"Several times, we've had to call police to have people asked to leave when they're doing illegal activities behind the building here," said Rob, the owner of The Dive Source who only wished to give his first name.
Rob said he believes more people living in St. Augustine could mean more crime.
"I think a lot has to do with our population," he said. "The population growth and the problems that come with it."