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Caught on camera: Oceanway neighbors worried after string of crimes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Neighbors in Oceanway are worried after a recent string of crimes. A video given to Action News Jax from a homeowner shows two thieves smashing a door window. The crooks walk out with bags full of items they stole from the house, including a rifle.

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It’s just one of the many burglaries and crimes neighbors are telling Action News Jax about. Security video from another incident shows two people walking up to a nearby home and one of them pointing a gun directly at the camera.

The burglary happened on Shims Road, where the suspects can be seen bashing their way into Jason and Melissa Shirley’s home.

“Knowing they were all through my house and in my kids’ room, it makes you feel unsafe,” Jason said.

The Shirleys said their home was ransacked on Wednesday morning when they were both at work and the cameras caught them in the act.

“They stole my oldest son’s 243 hunting rifle I just bought him, it was his first gun,” Jason Shirley said.

The crime left behind damage to the door and a mess inside their home. The Shirleys say the suspects stole over $2,000 with of items, including a recently gifted rifle, family heirlooms, and Christmas presents.

“GoPro, Dre Beats was stolen. Watches, piggy banks, every day I’m finding something new,” Melissa Shirley said. “Our grandmother passed away in May...she made homemade jewelry she had that had no value to anyone but myself and a retirement watch from Bacardi with her initials in it so they took that I can never replace.”

However, they say this has also been a problem in their area for months. Video from late October shows two people waving a gun towards a security camera on Lanier Street in late October.

“There’s been other guns stolen, both my neighbors they tried to steal their side by side, the other night it was a golf cart, cars all in a mile radius of our house,” Jason Shirley said.

JSO crime mapping tool shows 21 reported crimes within a mile of their home dating back to October 1. The burglary comes one day before police said a teenager was shot on Paperback Place, which is roughly half a mile from the Shirley’s home and investigators said two suspects were driving in a gray car. The Shirley’s security footage also caught a gray car minutes before the burglary when one suspect knocked on the front door.

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Action News Jax reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to see if it’s the same as the suspects but we are still waiting for a response.

“I believe if it keeps happening, I honestly believe someone is going to end up being shot. Maybe an innocent homeowner or maybe one of the thieves,” Jason Shirley said.

The Shirleys said their family feels violated and wants to see something done about it, including more police patrolling the area.

“It brings the mama bear out, it makes me protective; I’d like to see more police presence out here and my children to see more police presence out here so they feel safer,” Melissa Shirley said.

Action News Jax also spoke with several other neighbors off-camera who said they were impacted by crime and showed us videos of suspects trying to break into their cars.

Action News Jax has reached out to JSO for comments on the situation and the potential for enhanced law enforcement measures in the area. We are currently waiting for a response.

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