Detectives Investigating Rash of Car Burglaries throughout County
Citrus County Sheriff’s detectives are asking the public to be vigilant after investigating several car smash and grabs recently throughout the county. Deputies responded to the YMCA off West Norvell Bryant Highway (486) in Lecanto late Thursday after numerous vehicles were burglarized in the parking lot. Deputies talked with five victims who had their car windows smashed and several items stolen including purses and wallets. All of the vehicles were locked, so the suspects broke windows to gain access to the valuables.
Detectives believe that Thursday’s car burglaries are related to past burglaries that have occurred throughout the county. On Monday, June 25, deputies responded to reports of similar break-ins to vehicles at Floral Park in Floral City and Whispering Pines Park in Inverness. Victims reported missing similar items such as wallets, purses and other electronic devices. A similar burglary occurred the same day to a vehicle parked at the Step N Time Dance Studio on Apopka in Inverness, however nothing was reported stolen.
Detectives believe these burglaries are connected to a crime organization that has targeted surrounding counties, spanning across multiple states over the last month. The subjects’ primary motive involved in this organized crime spree is to steal purses and wallets containing cash or checks. In Citrus, one suspect from the Whispering Pines burglaries tried to cash a stolen check at a nearby bank, but was unsuccessful.
At this time, we are asking for the public’s help in identifying the female subject seen in the picture below, attempting to cash a stolen check. If anyone has information about this case, please call either Detective Chenoweth at 352-422-6668 or Detective Greatrex at 352-287-1860.
You can remain anonymous by calling Citrus County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-ANY-TIPS (269-8477) and be eligible for a cash reward.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is urging citizens to please REMOVE ALL VALUABLES from sight in their vehicles before locking and leaving them. Community Crimes Detectives will continue to conduct security checks in the parking lots of gyms, parks, and other similar areas. Removing valuables from vehicles can reduce the chance of falling victim to an auto burglary.
Emergency - 911
Non-Emergency - 352-726-1121
Inverness Ops Center - 352-726-4488
Inverness Civil Office - 352-341-6525
Beverly Hills / Ridge Area - 352-746-3484
Crystal River / Gulf Region - 352-795-4241