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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Vehicle Break-ins Mapped in St. Johns County
By Lindy Thackston

It's hard to believe there was a time you didn't have to lock your doors.

Today, an unlocked door is an invitation for a criminal.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says people arrested for breaking into cars are revealing their methods, and how easy it is to get into cars on the First Coast.

Sgt. Chuck Mulligan says suspects say they pick a street in a big subdivision and walk the entire length of the street pulling on door handles.

If it's unlocked, they easily take what's inside.

Because the number of people waking up to find they've become a victim keeps climbing, the Sheriff's Office has a released a map detailing vehicle burglaries in St. Johns County this year.

The red dots are unlocked cars. There are 563 of them.

The yellow dots are locked cars. There are only 166.

Areas with high numbers include Julington Creek, World Golf Village, Ponte Vedra, and inside St. Augustine city limits.

The map is published in the current St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Community Watch Magazine.

It's available free at most Gate gas stations and other areas around the county.

If you'd like the Community Watch Magazine e-mailed straight to your inbox or would like to see the publication, log onto www.sjso.org and follow the links.

And if you see someone lurking around cars in your neighborhood, call police right away. Police say it's common to solve dozens of car break-ins with a single arrest.

First Coast News