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Car burglary spike in St. Johns County

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Updated: 1/16 8:26 pm
PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said dozens of burglaries have happened within the last month.

Matthew Roth has been working in the construction business for 16 years.

"Everything I had was in that trailer," said Roth.

But now he's forced to rebuild his business after someone took just about every hammer, nail and other tool from his trailer.

The trailer even has "Jesus Saves" posted on the outside.

He said not even those words stopped the thieves from taking it.

"Jesus Saves" is on both sides of it and on the back it says 'Powered by the holy ghost,'" said Roth.

Roth said the one time one of his workers forgot to chain and lock the wheels of the trailer it was stolen from one of the homes he's been working on.

Deputies have dealt with similar incidents within the last 2 weeks. 

Sgt. Catherine Payne with the SJCSO said there's been more than 70 car burglaries and about 86 percent of the cars were left unlocked.

"Detectives are working on the reactive side to solve these cases but on the proactive side we're asking residents to please be vigilant and please be mindful, lock your doors," said Payne.

Payne showed Action News a handful of burglary reports deputies are investigating.

She said some of the cases are connected, and a mix of juveniles and adults are responsible.

Roth said a special task force should be created to help fight crime.

"I believe a task force should be put together to see what they can do to track these people down."

Roth hopes deputies will be able to find the more than $20,000 worth of his stuff that's gone.

"We all got to pay for what we do and what we say we got to answer for it. It's probably going to cost them a lot more than what they got out of it," said Roth.

SJCSO said so far they've made one arrest and charges are now pending against several individuals.
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