Man arrested after string of vehicle thefts

Burglaries occurred in Sea Grove subdivision of St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is investigating a recent string of thefts in the Sea Grove subdivision of St. Augustine.

Deputies say they have arrested Hosston Bishop, 22, in connection with a series of car burglaries.

Wednesday at about 3 a.m. deputies responded to a complaint of a vehicle burglary on the 2400 block of A1A South near the Sea Grove subdivision.

When they located the vehicle, officials said it appeared to have been ransacked and St. Johns County deputies along with St. Augustine Beach Police began to search the area for a possible suspect.

An officer at the scene says she noticed a light coming from the inside of a vehicle in the 900 block of Saltwater Circle. When she went to investigate, officials say she encountered a man inside the vehicle who refused to cooperate and fled the area on foot.

Soon after, law enforcement said it received a phone call from a woman who says she was awakened by a man standing in the doorway of her bedroom. The woman said she yelled at the man and he fled from her house on Saltwater Circle. She said she later discovered three of her vehicles had been burglarized.

"The young man is just lucky he didn't get shot," said Frank Thomas.

At about 4:18 a.m., police said they received a call from a nearby convenience store about a disorderly customer. Officials said the customer left the store before they arrived, but the store clerk was able to direct deputies to the area the customer was last seen.

After searching the area, police found and arrested Bishop without incident. Officials said he was the same man who fled earlier, and he attempted to flee again.

David Cook told Channel 4 he was one of Bishop's victims.

"I was asleep on the couch when I thought I heard a noise and then I was sitting there thinking, 'Did I just dream that sound?' Then I definitely heard someone try to pull open the door and I was sleeping about 10 feet from the door," said Cook.

When Cook woke up, he said he saw a blur running from his home. Cook said his car was completely ransacked.

"It was a little disarming. Some of my wife's belongings were on the ground. It was evidence that someone was looking for some valuable property," said Cook.

Deputies said Bishop didn't get anything from Cook's car, but kept trying.

"We are trying to coordinate with the evidence to figure out how many burglaries this individual is responsible for," said St. Johns County Sheriff's Sgt. Catherine Payne. "If you believe that your vehicle or residence has been burglarized, don't touch anything. Make sure you contact law enforcement immediately."

Bishop is charged with burglary to an occupied dwelling, burglary to an unoccupied dwelling, burglary to a conveyance, disorderly intoxication and loitering and prowling.

Both police agencies are still investigating as they continue to receive reports of vehicle burglaries in the area.

Detectives are asking if anyone suspects their vehicles or residences have been burglarized to not touch anything and immediately contact the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office at 904-824-8304.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.