CCSO arrests suspect for vehicle thefts and burglaries, seeks accomplice
One suspect was arrested in Punta Gorda for vehicle thefts and burglaries that took place in the early morning hours on Oct. 26.
The juvenile, 15-years-old, faces two counts of grand theft of motor vehicle, six counts of burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, grand theft between $300 to $5,000 and petit theft of less than $100.
Last year, there were 110 motor vehicle thefts, according to Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. Burglaries have dropped significantly since 2013, by 50 percent, with 368 reported in the prior year.
On Friday, Oct. 26, CCSO responded to a report of a stolen vehicle on Mauritania Rd. in the Deep Creek area.
The victim reported that her 1999 white Ford Ranger was stolen from her property, according to the CCSO press release. Several burglaries on unlocked vehicles were also reported around the time of the Ford Ranger theft.
Meanwhile, deputies received a second call for a stolen vehicle on Tarpon Way. The victims told deputies that their 2005 maroon Scion was stolen from their property.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau published a report earlier this year, stating national vehicle theft are at levels not seen since 1967. There have been significant enhancements to vehicle security. But most are stolen when owners leave their keys or fobs inside the vehicle, negating the security features.
Security cameras have become a more prevalent feature outside homes in recent years and are an invaluable tool for law enforcement to solve motor vehicle thefts.
When security footage from a residence in Deep Creek was posted to CCSO social media channels, a witness located both vehicles in the Ranchettes area of Punta Gorda, per the press release. In the footage, both vehicles were in operation.
Sandals, which were found in one of the stolen vehicles, were identified as the suspect’s during an interview with his mother. Detectives then went to the suspect’s residence to apprehend him. He was found hiding in a neighbor’s garage.
Detectives believe the juvenile had an accomplice. They are seeking help from the public. Those with information from the incident are encourage to contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers.