Eight firearms stolen during week of heavy car break-ins across Leon County, according to deputies

Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 5:46 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Lock your doors.

The Leon County Sheriff’s office posted to Facebook Friday warning the public that they responded to more than 20 vehicle burglaries over the course of a week. 18 of them had the car doors unlocked.

👀🛑📢This past week, LCSO worked TWENTY vehicle burglaries, EIGHTEEN were left unlocked, with EIGHT firearms stolen*....

Posted by Leon County Sheriff's Office on Friday, February 5, 2021

From those cars, eight firearms were stolen. Now, residents who live in the areas affected say they are taking extra precautions to ensure it does not happen to them.

An LCSO spokesperson tells WCTV that, typically, they see an uptick in these sorts of crimes around the summer months and holidays. But there really is no rhyme or reason.

They say what is concerning about this is that valuables like firearms are now out on the streets, which could’ve been avoided by simply locking a car.

Rebecca Anne Hollingsworth has lived near Lake Jackson for more than 10 years.

“We have had more occurrences it seems like,” she said.

Hollingsworth says some of her neighbors this past week have been the unlucky ones, but she’s not leaving anything to chance, “I try to counteract that number one to have motion lights visible within my carport, I keep my car locked, and I try not to have anything of import, visible or even in the vehicle.”

The sheriff’s department says that is a good rule of thumb.

From the map posted to their Facebook page, you can see car break-ins happen all over the city. But Shade McMillian, the public information officer for LCSO, says that certain neighborhoods can be more prone.

“Usually when you have these subjects hit a neighborhood so to speak and they are car shopping or car hopping, they are going to try and get into an area that is more condensed and there is more vehicles to hit in a short amount of time,” he said.

To that point, Patrick Ryon lives in Killearn Lakes. He was surprised his fishing spot across town is seeing a similar trend, “I just know that they come through the neighborhood and they will pull up and leave their car running in the street, and they try to go through between a couple of cars and check through three or four at a time.”

Ronald Boyette installed cameras after his guns were stolen from his home. The 40-year resident off of Lake Jackson recalls, “They broke in through a back window and took some guns but other than that, in fact, the Sheriff’s Department recovered the guns and we got them all back”

None of the guns that were stolen last week have been tied to any crimes. However, LCSO says once they are out of your possession there was no telling where they can end up.

“More often than not,” shares Office McMillian, “These guns do show up and sometimes they do show up as the weapon of choice in certain violent crimes.”

One neighbor off-camera did tell WCTV That in previous years he has had his firearm stolen from his vehicle, and then returned to him. However, he stated it was a learning lesson, to keep his items inside of his home and his car locked at all times.

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