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52 Burglaries Strike Palm Coast’s Major Hotels Overnight, Including Hammock Beach Resort

| July 7, 2016

car burglaries

One of the vehicles targeted overnight. (FCSO)

Last Updated: 6:46 p.m.

Some 52 vehicles were targeted in burglaries at four Palm Coast hotels overnight, with smashed windows and stolen belongings in what appears to have been an organized spree, a Flagler County Sheriff’s spokesman said this morning.


The sheriff’s office had initially put the tally at around 40 burglaries. By noon, the tally had risen to 45. And by the time the sheriff’s office issued a release on the matter in late afternoon, the total was up to 52.

The vehicles were parked at the Hilton Garden Inn, the Fairfield Inn, the Holiday Inn, and Hammock Beach Resort. The resort was a surprising outlier geographically, in the Hammock, as opposed to the three other hotels, which are within eyesight of I-95’s on and off ramps. Hammock Beach is on the Barrier Island, a considerable distance from I-95’s interchange with Palm Coast Parkway and across the Hammock Dunes bridge, off State Road A1A. The three other hotels are concentrated around the interchange with State Road 100. Wherever the vehicles were, it’s the sort of crime that can fatally damage a visitor’s impression of the region.

“Window smashes and I don’t know what kind of items were taken yet, we were still working those calls when I got in this morning,” Jim Troiano, the sheriff’s chief spokesman, said. He compared the spree to one on January 18, when 22 vehicles were targeted and two stolen (and later recovered).

“They come in quickly, they break the windows, they take the items and they leave, using the Interstate,” he said, with Ormond Beach and Jacksonville getting struck by similar waves recently. “They do travel as a group. They’re a band of traveling criminals.” No cars were reported stolen in the latest spree, Troiano said. Some surveillance video made available later today shows a dark colored sedan enter one hotel parking lot and several suspects exit and begin breaking into vehicles. In one case, a suspect breaks the driver’s side window of a white sedan then slithers in (not opening the door, which might have triggered an alarm), and methodically, unhurriedly uses a flashlight to scour the car. He stays inside two minutes, then slithers out.

Detectives are still in the process of obtaining surveillance video from other locations.

The burglaries contrast with the more common, improvised larcenies or crimes of opportunity that are reported almost every day in the county: those usually target unlocked vehicles. Smashed windows are the exception, not the burglars’ preferred method. So locked vehicles in the case of overnight burglaries at the hotels would not have helped.

In the same time period, at least three such larcenies were reported in Palm Coast’s C Section, on Colchester Lane and Collier Court. In two cases, nothing was taken from the vehicles. In the third, only some loose change was taken. A fourth car burglary was reported in the R Section, on Rodger Place, where body spray and air fresheners were stolen, and a gun was stolen from a vehicle on Pineapple Drive in a fifth incident. In all those cases, the vehicles had been left unlocked.

The sheriff’s office included the following tips in its Facebook alert about the burglaries this morning:

• Take a few extra minutes to keep your vehicle locked.
• Don’t leave anything valuable in your vehicle. If you have to store valuables in your vehicle, lock them in the trunk completely out of sight.
• Park in a well-lighted area close to the front of businesses where more people are likely to see if something suspicious occurs.

If you see something, say something by reporting suspicious activity immediately to 911. Anyone with information concerning these crimes, or any crime in Flagler County, is asked to contact the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at 386/313-4911. Callers can also remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-8477 (TIPS). Callers are eligible to receive a reward of up to $1,000.

hotel car break-ins

(FCSO)


hotel car break-ins

(FCSO)


hotel car break-ins

(FCSO)

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29 Responses for “52 Burglaries Strike Palm Coast’s Major Hotels Overnight, Including Hammock Beach Resort”

  1. Brian Larson says:

    The people who leave guns in unlocked cars …even those who leave them in locked cars should lose the right to carry for life…..last year guns stolen out of cars were used in a Publix robbery and a gas station robbery ….that is anything but responsible gun ownership.

  2. Veteran says:

    It’s always about the guns, isn’t it Brian!

  3. The Truth says:

    @Brian Larson:

    I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, the NRA would fight that left and right because they’ll claim Obama is trying to take their guns. Sensible gun laws in this country will never happen, too many gun nuts who think the ‘gubment is out to get their guns’.

  4. anonymous says:

    It is pretty stupid to leave car unlocked and furthermore don’t leave belongings in the vehicle. Where ever you are at. I’m already accustomed
    To doing this from living in Broward County. Palm Coast is going down fast. I’m still moving back to Broward County where there is the same types of crimes going on. However, nobody ever bothered me. This is the worst place I have ever lived. I can’t wait to get out of here. I would much rather deal with crime there. The police do their jobs and act appropriately. I can’t stand the cops here. Half of them don’t even know their jobs

  5. Longman says:

    adios!

  6. DaveT says:

    Hammock Beach resort, so how did these creeps get into the resort pass the guards, maybe they are tourist staying there, yard maintenance personnel or even construction personnel . Interesting that the Flagler County Sheriff s office issued this warning on July 4th to take precautions and to guard against thieves. The Sheriffs office noted 29 breakins and the crimes were concentrated in the Z, S, R, W and B sections of Palm Coast. And this has squat to do with the NRA or guns. Its punks breaking into peoples cars to steel whatever is in view, or fun the fun of it. .

  7. Concerned says:

    It’s time for the hotels to hire security guards for their parking lots. People will stop staying here if they don’t.

  8. Oh WOW says:

    Why aren’t they caught. Breaking someones window makes a lot of noise I would guess.

  9. eric says:

    isn’t there surveillance video so we can be alerted as to what to look for if the show up in residential areas of town.

  10. Amom says:

    See ya later, sounds like you have had a lot of problems here… So bye bye!

  11. steve miller says:

    Possibly more police cars driving thru all these area’s more frequently would help?

  12. Freddy says:

    If you leave valuables in the trunk they can pop it open if they can get into your vehicle. I leave the car doors open with nothing to steal so at least they do not have to break my glass. It cost more to fix pry marks on locks and paint chips from braking glass than what is sometimes stolen from a locked vehicle. Does anyone pay attention to car alarms anymore?

  13. mafungo says:

    This should help tourism in flagler county.

  14. Know what you're talking about says:

    Unfortunately Dave T….. Hammock Beach acquired the Lodge after the Resort was built which is unsecured by gate so your theory would prove incorrect, it is accessible by the beach access road

  15. Rachel says:

    Manfre needs to beef up the patrols at night, where are the cops when this is happening?

  16. anonymous says:

    Bye bye to you.

  17. Nancy N. says:

    All of you saying there needs to be more patrols by the cops…are you going to pay more taxes to pay for the man hours to do that?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  18. Ron Boyce says:

    What we have in Palm Coast and the rest of Florida is non regulated single family vacation rentals. What is the occupancy? Who is renting these dwellings? These dwellings are destroying our communities. They are being overcrowded with undesirables. They have no respect to our community values. Who is vetting these people. They are here for a day or two then gone tomorrow. Let’s stop this practice.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I thought crime was down in Flagler County…..I guess that was just a statement of what they want us to believe. Welcome to Com-Post, Florida.

  20. Amy McCall says:

    With the new jail recently opening and the rush to get to capacity this is good news for Manfire. Deputy’s should have been given new quotas upping citizen contact leading to greater arrest percentages. 300 beds filled and payment from the state should be a nice profit for the county. Example; 300 beds x 30 days x $65.00 (estimated state payments) = $585,000 per month or $7,020,000.00 annually just on housing inmates alone.

  21. footballen says:

    Soooooooooooooooo. The guns and the cops are to blame, again.

  22. DaveT says:

    And all of this in peaceful Flagler County. For such a small county in population we sure have a lot of crime.

  23. michael says:

    almost every house has a garage might want to start using it

  24. CC says:

    I just moved up from Broward county, where chaos prevails all the time. I m so used to hearing about this in Fort Lauderdale. But, this goes on everywhere. With more people moving to this area from South FL and all parts of the country, we are going to get more crime. The police are only going to patrol from a standpoint of what the budget allows. But if our police department doesnt get ahead of the influx of people moving here we will become a dangerous little town before you know it. Our police has already been unable to keep the schools safe. And drugs are on the rise. Our town needs some leadership putting together neighborhood watch committees and our different sections of Palm Coast should put plans in action to watch out for the people in our communities. Everybody needs to always have a gun and phone close by.

  25. Bc. says:

    I do think it’s time for a new sheriff crime has gone up on his watch. He reports that it has gone down but we all no better. Time to vote🇺🇸

  26. Kat L says:

    Hotels are private property . security and numerous cameras save property and detur vandals.. Spend some profits!!!! Insurance rates going up up up up! Safety going down ! Hotel owners fault! I love it here!!!!! Thugs are closer and bolder ! than we think. It’s the generation. Not the city.!!!!!!!

  27. rgr says:

    I once live a LaMancha Drive, now it should be called lost world drive. All of Palm Coast is sinking fast.

  28. RENEE says:

    I bought my house in 2003 in the K section (SW Palm Coast.) My closest neighbors had been out here all alone within a 3-street radius, from 1980 to 1999…they had built their home and never locked a door or their cars!

    When I immediately installed an ADT system, after I moved in, they thought I was nuts!
    They said they had their early warning system–their tiny poodles…

    Now, we watch out for each other like hawks. These are such sad times, when in the tiny time window of 13 years, our small city has morphed into this nightmare and is no longer a cozy, safe haven. We’ve joined the ranks of temporarily ruined cities, but we CAN fight back.

    My family and friends won’t run away…and the agonizing truth is: It will be just as crime-ridden WHEREVER you chose to run to.

  29. Pamela says:

    I am from Miami. I love it here. I follow the rules that I lived by growing up. I park under a light, I pay attention to my surroundings going to and from work early in the mornings and late at night. If I hear a car alarm while I am at work, I walk outside and see if I notice anything. If is see a helicopter circling, I look to see if I notice anything.

    Do not leave items in your car especially not a gun. That is just plain ignorance. Not that anyone deserves to have their car broken into, but you could make yourself a target. While it may not protect you, it is better to keep items in the trunk rather than in plain sight.

    There are people with no regard to other peoples surroundings. They get off on destruction. Did you notice the photos there was no generalization in the cards with the cars with broken windows. Expensive and inexpensive cars.

    Let pay attention to our surroundings and help keep each other safe.

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