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3 cars stolen from gated apartment complex in St. Augustine

Keys left inside 2 of 3 stolen vehicles, police say

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – There's a neighborhood crime alert in St. Augustine, where police said a group of thieves stole three cars from a gated apartment complex. 

The thefts happened Tuesday at the Landing apartment complex on Lasa Drive, near San Sabastian View and U.S. 1.

The St. Augustine Police Department said a 2015 white Kia Optima, a 2011 green Kia Soul and an unlocked 2013 black Volkswagen Jetta were stolen, but the Soul was later found miles away. 

"My bedroom is right next door and I thought I heard my car being started and I thought, 'That can't be my car,'" said Patrick Tracey, whose Soul was stolen and then recovered across town. "But unfortunately it was."

He told News4Jax that his wallet was still in the vehicle, but cash was missing and his vehicle was in poor condition when he got it back.

"There was a bunch of McDonald food, trash," Tracey said. "My stuff was all torn apart."

According to police, keys were left inside the Optima and the Jetta, which have not been found.

News4Jax was told apartment management sent an email notifying residents about the thefts. 

"I am old enough to know that stuff happens and to, kind of, accept it," said Deanna Bryant, who lives in the community and received the email. "But it's nice to know they alerted us."

Police said personal property was stolen from a fourth vehicle on Lamas Drive. 

At last check, no arrests had been made. 

Anyone with information about the car thefts is asked to call the Police Department at 904-825-1074.

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