Several Car Burglaries Reported in St. Johns County
Recent news stories detail the arrest of a 14 year old boy in regards to several car burglaries in St. Johns County. The 14 year old can’t be named because juvenile names are not allowed to be disclosed under Florida law. The 14 year old has been charged with armed burglary to a conveyance and grand theft. The 14 year old currently remains in the custody of the Juvenile Justice Department. A 17 year old co-defendant is currently on the run at this time. The News4Jax story states that the 4-5 vehicles broken into were all unlocked, and firearms along with other personal items were stolen. It is often known by car burglars that people keep firearms, laptops, tablets, and other high end electronics in addition to cash and change inside of their vehicles. A separate news story published by the Florida Times Union details the concerns of law enforcement in regards to car burglaries. The title of the Times Union Story says it at, “Sheriff: Guns stolen from unlocked cars may be contributing to violent crime.” It is quite often that law enforcement officials blame car burglars for supplying guns to criminals on the street.
Crime of Opportunity
Most Car Burglaries are very similar in nature. They are often committed by juveniles, often times with more than one juvenile at a time, in upper scale neighborhoods or apartment complexes, with the vehicles being found unlocked. When these type of cases come into play, a group of juveniles get together and walk a neighborhood, going car to car, checking door handles to see if the vehicle is in fact unlocked. Once an unlocked vehicle is located, the juveniles will “toss” the vehicle to take anything of value. It is common that in a single neighborhood, the juveniles will locate several cars during the night to break into. The tough question for law enforcement and state attorneys is proving which vehicle was broken into by which juvenile. This can be proven by which property if found on which juvenile, where the juvenile is taken into custody, and what the juvenile tells law enforcement when caught. The simplicity and low cost of surveillance cameras have also assisted law enforcement in the arresting of people breaking into cars. The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office has even given images to several news outlets in an attempt to help locate the 17 year old still on the run. Continue reading