4 Suspects Sought in Break-Ins and Theft of 19 Vehicles at Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn
FlaglerLive | January 22, 2016
Five vehicles parked at the Holiday Inn Express in Palm Coast’s Flagler Plaza Drive and 13 vehicles parked at the nearby Hampton Inn, just off I-95, were burglarized overnight Wednesday, and one stolen from the Holiday Inn parking lot was later recovered in Orlando. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is looking for at least four suspects in the burglaries and thefts, and has surveillance video of some of the rampage. It is not yet releasing the video, as the cases are being investigated.
The vehicles each had windows smashed and the contents ransacked. The suspects, who included a U.S. Forest Service vehicle among their targets, were using a dark-colored SUV.
Deputies found multiple clothing items and suitcases dumped behind the Mobil gas station at I-95 and State Road 100. The stolen car, a 2012 Hyundai Elantra, belongs to a couple from Michigan. They were staying at the Holiday Inn Express. The Florida Highway Patrol located the vehicle in Orlando at 6 a.m. Thursday, according to a sheriff’s incident report. The car had front-end damage, suggesting that it had been involved in a crash, but the keys were in the car. The belongings that were in the car were also recovered near the hotel.
A sheriff’s release notes that detectives believe the burglaries are related and part of a larger trend where suspects travel to an area and target vehicles by smashing the window if needed, then taking valuables to include purses and wallets. They immediately try to cash any checks they find, or use credit cards before they are deactivated.
The sheriff’s office reminds everyone to take steps to avoid becoming a crime victim and offers the following crime prevention tips:
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 to 911 immediately.
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.