The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a rash of 20 car breaks, possibly more, that all took place in Palm Coast’s K and Z Sections Tuesday night into Wednesday–15 in the K’s, five in the Z’s. Every single vehicle that was broken into had been left unlocked. “People need to lock their doors,” a sheriff’s spokesperson said.
“We have officially 15 but there may be more, more keep trickling in,” the spokesperson said late this afternoon.
In some cases, the burglars got hold of garage door openers, opened the garage and rummaged there. In one such case, on Kathleen Trail, the 36-year-old resident was asleep and was woken up by the sound of her garage door opening. She got up and noticed her Ford Focus broken into, though nothing was taken since there’d been nothing valuable inside. She did not see anyone. Fingerprints were lifted from the hood and the garage door opener and car’s glove box were processed for DNA.
At a nearby home on the same street, a 64-year-old resident reported an identical break-in, with her vehicle and the garage broken into.
On Zircon Court, the 47-year-old homeowner was going through his normal morning routine, getting ready to drive to work before 7 .m. when he noticed that the driver’s side door to his 2014 Kia had been rummaged through, all the car’s paperwork scattered on the floorboard. A few dollars and a baseball cap had been stolen. The homeowner had left the car in the driveway, unlocked. The homeowner had a surveillance camera trained on the driveway. He saw “what appeared to be two males with hoodies run towards his vehicle,” according to an incident report. “An unknown vehicle was also following both males, and one male was observed opening the driver’s side door while the other male goes to the passenger side door, open and made entry.” Both men or boys were seen in the homeowner’s vehicle looking for things to pilfer. There was no time stamp on the video footage.
But surveillance video footage from a house on Kalamazoo Trail showed two males leaving the vehicle at 2:08 a.m. The males walked up to several vehicles parked in driveways along the street, seemingly attempting to get in. On Kaywood Place, a Toyota parked in the driveway had its trunk broken into. The resident’s wallet was stolen from the center console. It contained a bank card and a pass to an Orlando theme park, though no fraudulent transactions had been recorded.
The city had experienced a series of serial car breaks in the past, but not in the last year or two, the spokesperson said.
This latest spree takes place as Sheriff Rick Staly prepares to deliver his latest “Addressing Crime Together” presentation this evening at the Hilton Garden Inn (55 Town Center Blvd, Palm Coast) at 6 p.m. The meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast on WNZF (94.9 FM or 1550 AM) and shown live on the agency’s Facebook page. Staly will discuss crime in Flagler County, the initiatives the Sheriff’s Office has made to improve public service, and agency plans for 2021. The sheriff will also field questions.