Recent thefts in Murray Hill have residents on edge about increased crime in the area

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some Murray Hill residents are speaking out about what they call an increase in crime where they live.

One couple said their car was stolen on New Year’s Day, and this isn’t the couple’s first time being a victim of theft.

“I woke up on New Year’s Day and my car was gone,” Max Fisher said.

Around 4 a.m., Ring video showed a white Kia Soul parked on the street. Three hours later, in another video, that same car wasn’t there.

Fisher and his husband Chris Yamnitz said they installed the camera about three years ago after someone stole their bikes from their garage.

“We felt like it would give us a better way of catching these people either a license plate, their profile, what they look like,” Yamnitz said.

The Ring camera was down for a time period Sunday morning and didn’t catch the theft.

“It was disheartening. I was a little frustrated with the Ring company,” Yamnitz said.

Fisher and Yamnitz said their recent loss along with other incidents in the neighborhood concern them and others.

Travis Smith sent a video to News4JAX that showed a man approaching his front door after pulling down a mask and attempting to open the door before walking away.

In another video Smith sent, two people are seen wearing masks and walking through his carport. He said the next day he noticed items were missing from his truck.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office crime mapping tool, from July 2022 until now, there were 143 crimes committed in a half-mile radius from where Fisher’s car was stolen. The most reported crime was theft.

Because of the growing crime rate in the area, Yamnitz said he plans to learn how to better protect himself and his husband.

“I feel more comfortable having a gun. I need to learn how to use it and that’s going to be within the next week,” Yamnitz said.

However, not everyone feels like crime in Murray Hill is increasing.

Dave Thomas believes crime is going down and that the area is improving.

“It’s a great neighborhood for walking your dog. We have a lot of pet owners and we look out for one another,” Thomas said. “Murray Hill has been a great community to live in.”

City Councilmember Randy DeFoor also said crime has decreased in Murray Hill. She said adding lights around the playground and having the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office patrol the area more has helped reduce crime after recent events.

Fisher and Yamnitz said they plan on leaving the neighborhood once their lease is up.

About the Author:

Khalil Maycock joined the News4JAX team in November 2022 after reporting in Des Moines, IA.