Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Apartment Burglaries Verge on Epidemic

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Apartment Burglaries Verge on Epidemic

Article excerpt

At first, Ruth Hoffman said she thought the maintenance man had

changed the lock at her apartment in the St. Augustine at the

Lakes complex when her key wouldn't fit Dec. 3.

Then she learned someone else had picked her lock and stolen

$1,900 of her jewelry, including some valued family heirlooms.

And she wasn't alone.

Twenty apartments were broken into in Mandarin and Southside

Dec. 3 and 4, the latest in a rash of apartment burglaries

recorded by police there in the past three weeks.

"The woman upstairs was hit and the man across from her was

hit. There were three of us hit in this one building," she said.

"I am very concerned. I don't know what I can do about it."

Neither does Woodlake Park complex resident Matthew Steffens,

who found his front door forced open Dec. 4, and $225 in jewelry


"It is shocking to think all of these complexes are getting

hit. It seems like they are all related," he said. "I am

obviously concerned."

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Justin Hill said there has

been a "significant increase" in daytime and early evening

apartment break-ins in Mandarin and Southside in the past three


Six were reported Dec. 3 and 4 at St. Augustine at the Lakes,

in the 11000 block of San Jose Boulevard. Five occurred those

two days at Woodlake Park, in the 9400 block of San Jose, while

two were hit Dec. 4 at Woodbridge at the Lake, 4200 block of

Losco Road. One apartment at the Mandarin Lanai complex on

Sunbeam Road was broken into Dec. 4.

Two apartments were burglarized Dec. 3 at the Oaks at Deerwood,

in the 10100 block of Baymeadows Road, while apartments were hit

Dec. 3 and 4 at Southern Pines on Belle Rive Boulevard, Cypress

Lakes on Belle Rive Blvd., Green Tree Place in the 9480 block of

Princeton Square Boulevard South and Timberlin Parc on Timberlin

Parc Boulevard.

In all cases, the residents reported someone had rooted around

their drawers and tossed clothing around looking for valuables.

The total loss estimated so far is $13,385 in jewelry, computers

and other items. …

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