Deputies: Car burglar shoots resident in Doctor's Inlet Reserve

Clay County deputies say one resident was shot by suspected thief

By Zachery Lashway - Reporter/anchor, Maggie Lorenz - Multi-media journalist, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - A resident of Doctor's Inlet Reserve shot early Sunday morning as he was trying to chase away a group of car burglars is in stable condition, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Residents said a group of five people was going from driveway to driveway, checking to find unlocked cars and breaking into others.

One resident said deputies told her a man who lives in the neighborhood caught a thief in the act and started chasing him but the thief came back and shot the man. He's expected to survive his wounds.

Another resident said her family had two of their three cars broken into, two of which were unlocked.

Several Clay County deputies spent the day processing scenes all around the large neighborhood and searching for the thieves. For several hours Sunday, deputies checked every car leaving the subdivision looking for the thieves.

Neighbor Tom Swider said he heard a loud noise about the time other neighbors said they heard gunshots Sunday morning.

"I thought maybe it was a firecracker, could have been anything, could have been a bang, but I'm not sure if it had anything to do with it but I did hear a loud pop about four or five a.m," Swider said.

Deputies searched every street in the neighborhood and dusted cars for fingerprints. Police dogs were also being used to search for clues.

One woman who lives there said deputies told her there were at least five guys involved in the string of car burglaries. 

Detectives have not named any suspects in the car thefts or shooting, but ask anyone who may have seen anything that could lead to an arrest to call the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

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