Burglars targeting cars in St. Johns County neighborhoods

Burglaries reported in Julington Creek, Fruit Cove, St. Augustine

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office asked for help Tuesday tracking down suspected burglars who were caught on surveillance camera in the Hideaway subdivision.

Several incidents were reported in the past week in Jultington Creek, Fruit Cove and St. Augustine.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies typically see an uptick in car burglaries during the summer months.  They said a lot of people visit the area and don't lock their cars.

The most recent incidents involved cars that were targeted during the nighttime outside homes.

In two of the most recent cases in Fruit Cove, thieves got away with wallets, credit cards and personal IDs. Some of the credit cards were used at stores on Jacksonville’s Northside within hours of being stolen. One of the victims told investigators more than $800 in unauthorized charges showed up on her credit card statement.

Tuesday morning, the Sheriff’s Office released home surveillance video showing a group of at least five people pulling on car doors in the Hideaway subdivision in St. Augustine off Old Moultrie Road.

News4Jax spoke with multiple people who live in the neighborhood who said it’s not the first time the subdivision has been targeted. Karrie Andrews said her car was rummaged through about a month ago.

“I came out to my vehicle and stuff was everywhere. The glove box and everything was just out throughout the car. Things from the console were just strewn about,” Andrews said.

Diana Wildrick, who lives in the Julington Creek area, said her neighborhood was also hit before. This time, three of her neighbors were victims.

“It was kind of crazy to think it hit so close to home again because we have had it happen about a year and a half ago with a neighbor across the street. People just have just got to remember, lock your doors,” Wildrick said.

Since the beginning of 2019, there have been 266 car burglaries in St. Johns County, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Of those incidents, 21 involved stolen guns and 17 of those cars were left unlocked.

The Sheriff’s Office said break-ins are almost a daily occurrence and most of the vehicles are left unlocked.

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