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Another Rash of Car Break-Ins Hits High-Visibility Business Locations Across Palm Coast

| December 6, 2016

palm coast parkway break-ins

The latest string of car break-ins affected high visibility locations along Palm Coast Parkway. (© FlaglerLive)

For the third time this year, a wave of break-ins targeted cars in some of Palm Coast’s most visible areas—at Chick-fil-A, Sunshine Academy, Waterfront Park, the Lehigh Trailhead parking lot on Royal Palms Parkway and several other locations along Palm Coast Parkway.

Many of the break-ins appeared to be part of the same pattern, or the work of the same perpetrators. Several additional break-ins, however, did not fit a pattern and seemed more in line with the sort of scattered crimes of opportunity that strike haphazardly but regularly in various neighborhoods about three times a day on average. (There were 1,300 larcenies in the county, mostly in Palm Coast, last year, and 635 in the first six months of the year.)  

Most crimes of opportunity take advantage of unlocked cars. Most of the last few days’ burglaries, especially those concentrated along Palm Coast’s busiest arteries, involved smashed car windows, and took place at busy times of the day, seemingly in plain view, at times profiting from very brief spans of time when the car owner was in and out of a business. That suggests the work of one or more observant criminals adept at such burglaries.

So far, the Flagler County Sheriff’s office has made no arrests. Here’s a run-down of break-ins based on available reports from the sheriff’s office.

On Dec. 5 at Sunshine Academy off Palm Coast Parkway, a woman who had come to pick up her children late in the afternoon reported that in the mere space of time that she was inside the school—between 5:40 and 5:50 p.m.—the front driver’s side window on her 2013 Ford UT, an SUV, was smashed out, and her $300 Motorola phone, among other items, stolen. The woman, a 32-year-old resident of Welling Place, also reported her $260 purse stolen, along with “bank keys for business and vault combinations,” the sheriff’s incident report states, two check books with blank checks, a key to the woman’s husband’s vehicle, and various credit cards and papers. The victim works at a bank in St. Augustine.

On Dec. 3, the residents of 172 Eric Drive in Palm Coast woke up to find both their vehicles had been tampered with, and one of them, a Ford Escape, burglarized. The Ford had been left unlocked and $100 in cash—money one of the resident s had set aside for a garage sale she was to have that day—stolen. Nothing else was missing, including expensive golf clubs and a bag in the back of the vehicle. The Chevy Camaro in the driveway wasn’t visibly burglarized, but the trunk opened only with difficulty, and missing from it were some $500 worth of clothing, kitchen items and a watch.

A resident on Ewing Place reported that his truck had been burglarized overnight, but details on that theft were not available as the report was not completed when requested.

The same day, a 23-year-old resident of Marina Bay Drive in Flagler Beach reported that while he was with friends in the woods the previous evening—there were some 30 people around a bonfire–in the area of 3325 U.S. 1 in Bunnell, his 9-mm Springfield Armory semi-automatic pistol was stolen from the center compartment of his 2008 GMC Sierra. The gun is valued at $420. He did not realize the gun had been stolen until the next morning.

The same day—Dec. 3—at 2 p.m., a retiree and resident of Essington Lane in Palm Coast, said she’d parked her Honda CRV in her driveway the previous evening, leaving it unlocked, as is her habit, because she’s worried that someone would break her car windows otherwise. She woke up to find a Blue Tooth, a cell phone charger and a $200 GPS device missing from her car.

On Dec. 2 just before 6 p.m. a 48-year-old woman reported that the rear driver’s side door window on her silver Ford Edge was smashed out, and her purse was stolen. The woman, a resident of Rykill Way in Palm Coast, had parked her car at Chick-fil-A off Palm Coast Parkway. The purse contained a wallet, an Android phone adapter and body spray, among other items, the lot valued at $280.

On December 1 at Waterfront Park, the driver’s side window on a black GMC was smashed out and a 37-year-old woman’s purse stolen. The woman, a resident of Bunker View Drive in Palm Coast, had kept multiple credit cards and personal documents in her purse.  She could not provide any suspect description or any suspicious activity that occurred prior to her arriving at the park at 4:20 p.m.

There were at least two such rashes of break-ins in 2015, one of them specifically targeting vehicles at county and city parks. There’s been at least two previous ones this year, one of them in January that targeted 19 vehicles at hotels and motels, and another that struck 52 vehicles, again at hotels and motels around town.

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20 Responses for “Another Rash of Car Break-Ins Hits High-Visibility Business Locations Across Palm Coast”

  1. Sw says:

    Just remember you are always being watched

  2. Yellowstone says:

    Not mentioned: Monday there were six auto break ins at Palm Coast Marina and another three in the garage in the Resort Village. A repeat performance . . . All taped on 4 surveillance video cams.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why would anyone leave their car unlocked?

  4. woodchuck says:

    People won’t learn not to leave valuables in plain sight locked or unlocked.

  5. Valarie says:

    I would recommend security cameras. I never regret buying cameras for my house. You never know who or what is lurking around your home. Godfather Spy Shop on Southside Boulevard in Jacksonville Florida is the best! I would recommend them because they did an outstanding job!

  6. r&r says:

    This can’t be true. Manfre said our crime is down.

  7. Marlee says:

    Why would anyone leave their purse in the car? Or anything of value….keep it out of sight and locked.

  8. blondee says:

    I suppose you can tell people a million times to lock their vehicles or to not leave their valuables in plain sight. How is this so hard to understand?

  9. Action time says:

    Time to add more cops…. even doubled the police force. I would be more than happy to pay taxes for that !

  10. palmcoaster says:

    I do not leave any valuables in my cars…and scout the area when I park for any suspicious looking dudes.
    Works for me so far as since 1991 never had a car break in.

  11. Donna Heiss says:

    7 cars at the palm coast marina. All locked had their windows smashed. Doesn’t matter if you lock your car or not.

  12. palmcoaster says:

    Surveillance cameras needed to catch the criminal vandals in all these places including our parks parking’s.
    The tapes can be played and look at by the sheriff when an incident is reported. No need for monitoring.

  13. CJ Vetere says:

    People need to accept reality and that crooks are real. Lock your car, put things out of sight, take your valuables with you, house cameras, house alarm systems, etc, should be the norm. Also, carry very little in your wallet, purse, etc. Just a thought.

  14. tulip says:

    After reading this article. I’m beginning to think it’s better to leave car unlocked but TAKE YOUR VALUABLES with you when you exit the car, even if you need a small tote bag to do so. That way, the thieves can open your car without having to smash and damage and then leave with nothing of any consequence. Locked doors, windows and alarm systems on homes and cars don’t seem to matter a bit to thieves. They break in, take what they want and are gone in a couple of minutes.

  15. NeedHelp says:

    This a perfect example of why we need a city police department. There is no way the Sheriffs’ can patrol the whole county adequately. We need to have regular patrols to catch some of these idiots. It is ridiculous that we have such a high rate of break-ins for the size of town we have. Wake up Palm Coast government!!!

  16. david sheehy says:

    Absolutely amazing..and un believable…I was the 3rd house built in Palm Coast…never locked my doors never locked my car…sold my last 1988 and got the f outta lil New York what a shame…no wonder we are allowed to carry a gun…I’ve seen palm coast and Flagler Beach go to crap…cause of incompetent and mentally ill thugs…please President elect Trump…close the I 95…south bound labe to Flagler County..thugs and scum see easy pickings here…

  17. YankeeExPat says:


    “Thank You …Have a Blessed Day….Take Care not to Step in the Broken Glass!”!


    Looks like God dropped the Ball again on this One.

  18. Flagler County is depraved says:

    These thieves need to be caught!!!! They are So ruthless and have no regard for other peoples property.
    Get cameras surrounding your home, get alarms in your cars!!!! Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to protect your property – its yours— YOU BOUGHT IT. THESE FREAKS DO NOT HAVE ANY RIGHT TO YOUR BELONGINGS—NONE.

  19. Outsider says:

    Out here in the rural areas of the county break-ins and burglaries are pretty rare. I believe the routine sound of gunfire has something to do with it.

  20. DamnYankee says:

    Doesn’t anybody have a garage? I understand you take your chance in a public parking lot, but put you car in the garage, and your risk becomes very small.

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