18 cars burglarized at Tallahassee apartment complex

Published: Aug. 23, 2016 at 7:02 PM EDT
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By: Mariel Carbone

August 23, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV)--Fingerprint dust left on car doors, one of the only remaining signs on Tuesday that there was any disturbance at a Tallahassee apartment complex.

“This is a very safe community, I feel very secure here,” said resident Rodney Mercer, who has been living there for about two and a half years.

But, early Monday morning, 18 unlocked cars were burglarized at Arbor Landing at Lake Jackson. It’s what the Leon County Sheriff’s Office calls “car shopping.”

“The car shopping has grown over from just kids in the neighborhood to a more organized group,” said Lt. Grady Jordan, Leon County Sheriff’s Office. “Now when they're looking for car doors, if it's locked they move onto the next one. If it's unlocked, they rummage through it. If there's something they like, they take it."

Ultimately, he said, they are shopping in your car.

About a half dozen suspects are sought in this case; most of which were caught on surveillance video. The group was seen walking on foot, car door to car door, and then taking off in a getaway car.

The complex is a gated community. But, some residents say it’s still easy to enter the premise.

"The gates are only useful if you're trying to come in with a car, but if you look at both sides of the gate, it's open for people to just walk in.” said Farbod Pourmand, who recently moved in at Arbor Landing.

He had several items from his car stolen.

“Mostly they took, I had around 15 dollars in cash, and five dollars in quarters.” He said.

Mercer said his car, and his wife's car were also broken into, but they didn't notice anything missing.

"My wife's car, they threw everything around," said Mercer.

Lt. Jordan said stolen items include credit cards and cash. Residents are directed to lock all car doors and take valuable items inside.

The Sheriff’s Office does have several potential suspects it is looking into.