Man arrested in string of car burglaries

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Columbia County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Aaron Bennefield

LAKE CITY, Fla. - A Lake City man was arrested Sunday in connection with a string of vehicle burglaries.

Aaron Bennefield, 23, is charged with 22 counts of burglary, grand theft, and dealing in stolen property.

Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputies said they began investigating several vehicle burglaries on Jan. 2.

Deputies said Bennefield entered unlocked vehicles in the Wise Estates subdivision off County Road 242 during the overnight hours.

Other car burglaries were reported in the Creekside, Azalea Park and Callaway subdivisions. Detectives believed that the burglaries were connected.

Detectives said they determined that Bennefield had used a stolen credit card from one of the burglaries to purchase tools from Lowe's, and video surveillance of the suspect at the store allowed deputies to identify him as a suspect.

Bennefield lives in the Wise Estates subdivision. Detectives searched his home and car and found numerous stolen items, including tools, electronics and firearms. They found other stolen items at area pawn shops.

Bennefield was arrested and booked into the Columbia County Detention Facility. Additional charges are pending against him.

Detectives have recovered some items that have not yet been linked to a particular victim. If your vehicle was burglarized during the past few weeks, you are asked to call the Detective Division at 386-758-1095 to help detectives determine if the recovered property is yours.

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