Westside neighbors frustrated with car break-ins and thefts

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some Westside neighbors say they're now taking matters into their own hands after a string of car break-ins and thefts. Homeowners have set up surveillance cameras and are even running off suspicious people on their own.

"I feel extremely violated," said J.D. Roberts. "I work hard for what I do."

On March 13th Roberts was the victim of a car theft. But he says what's most upsetting is how bold and brazen the thieves were and the fact that they're still lurking.

"I had to have this re-keyed," said Roberts as he sat in his truck behind the steering wheel. "They had a copy of my key so they could still drive off with my truck."

Just 10 days before his truck was stolen someone broke into his wife's car as it was parked in their driveway on Wheat Road. Initially she thought they had only taken the change inside, but as it turns out she kept a spear key to her husbands truck in her arm rest.

Roberts says the crooks waited before returning to his home and stealing the truck. And he's not alone. Also on the Westside on Poppy Drive someone broke into Catherine Dunn's car on May 5th. She says they took what they could, and left. Two days later her car went missing. She too had a spear key inside.

"I still carry most everything in at night because I still don't trust the people," said Roberts. "But I've got neighbors watching and I'm watching."

Roberts says about two weeks ago his neighbor, frustrated with the break-in's in the area decided to step-up and run some crooks off.

"He saw somebody creeping up and this was about 2 a.m. he noticed the lights on my truck coming on," said Roberts. "He came running across the street and scared them off. We're going to catch them. The police can't catch them but we're going to catch them."

Dunn says she has since moved. She's fearful the thieves might return to her home like they did in Roberts' case. In both cases police found the victims vehicles. They were cleared out inside with some damage.

JSO is asking people to call crime stoppers with any helpful information.


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