3 contained in string of car burglaries

Clay County deputies captured three suspects in a string of overnight car break-ins in the Eagle Harbor subdivision, said the sheriff’s office.

Authorities said over a dozen cars were burglarized, but neighbors believed the total to be closer to 30 cars.

Deputies searched neighborhoods located behind Fleming Island Elementary School overnight until 10 a.m. Monday morning, which is when the final suspect was arrested.

Deputies had one of the three suspects in custody early Monday morning. A lieutenant stopped the second suspect after the suspect said he was tired of running and came out of a wooded area near the school where he had been hiding near a soccer practice.

The third and final suspect was caught nearby shortly after the second one was arrested.

Deputies say they were initially worried that one of the suspects was armed after a gun was stolen out of one of the broken into cars Sunday night. Deputies were able to put that suspicion to rest and the tension in the Eagle Harbor area was eased.

Some neighbors reported they weren’t sure how their cars got broken into. They say their cars were locked and parked right in front of their homes. Other cars also were reported with no damage at all.

Robin Smith is a resident in the neighborhood whose car wasn’t broken into. Yet she awakened with quite a scare to the amount of deputies stationed throughout the neighborhood with their K-9’s.

According to neighbors, the roads in the neighborhood can be tricky to navigate for those unfamiliar with those roads. They say they aren’t surprised that the suspects were hiding in the neighborhood for hours before being found.

According to neighbors in the area, this is the second time this month that cars have been burglarized. There are no reported injuries at this time.

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