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Hillsborough Police advise residents to keep vehicles doors locked after car thefts

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Posted at 12:18 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 12:19:34-04

Hillsborough County Police has arrested four juveniles responsible for numerous break-ins within the South Hillsborough area. 

Police say between the dates of October 18-29, 2017, burglaries and auto thefts happened regularly within Hillsborough County's fourth district.

The thefts were crimes of opportunity which occurred at night, what police refer to as "car hopping." During these incidents, the juveniles walked down residential streets and attempted to open car doors. Once inside, they would steal anything of value.

In some cases, if keys were still inside the vehicle the juveniles would steal the car itself. 

Police say the subdivisions were especially vulnerable because of citizens who left their vehicles unlocked with keys, firearms, and other valuables inside. 

Detectives shared some statistics gathered during the course of their investigation:

  • Five stolen vehicles were believed to be tied to these subjects, which includes one from Pinellas County.
  • Three firearms were taken from unlocked vehicles within the District IV area, none have been recovered as of yet.
  • An unknown number of total vehicles were burglarized throughout the area. It is believed many occurred, but less than 10 were reported.

Hillsborough detectives advise the public to lock their vehicles at home and if residents choose not to, to remove any valuables including paperwork which could lead to identity theft.