• Security guards coming to St. Johns County shopping plaza after break-ins

    By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax


    Security guards will soon patrol a St. Johns County shopping center after a series of car break-ins.

    Action News Jax reported Tuesday that three women's car windows were shattered at Johns Creek Town Center early Monday.

    Expensive purses, a dozen credit cards and an iPhone were taken, according to Sheriff’s Office reports.

    It was the second time in just a few months that women’s cars were targeted while they were inside Orange Theory Fitness at the shopping center.

    Action News Jax reached out to Regency Centers, manager of the plaza, on Tuesday about security at the plaza.

    A victim said several lights in the parking lot were not working, making it even darker before sunrise, when all the break-ins reportedly occurred.

    On Wednesday, Action News Jax learned Regency Centers fixed the lights and told Orange Theory Fitness owners it would be adding on-site security.

    Regency Centers manages 17 other shopping centers in Duval and the surrounding counties, including Nocatee Town Center, according to its website.

    Sheriff’s Office reports reveal three women’s car windows were shattered at that shopping center in November.

    Action News Jax asked Regency Centers if it plans to add security there or at other properties. A spokesperson declined to provide that information.

    “It is that time of year where these things happen, and these are really big parking lots, so they do need to provide some kind of security, and I think this has caught their attention,” said George Baccash, one of the owners of Orange Theory Fitness.

    Orange Theory put a notice on its doors urging members to store their valuables inside secure lockers at the gym and to park in view of its security cameras.

    Here is the full statement from Regency Centers:

    "Security is a top priority at our centers at any location, and we are constantly evaluating the needs and efforts based on the most up to date information the authorities are able to share. We anticipate having security on-site at Johns Creek as long as necessary. We don't want to share the specific timelines for security reasons but we plan to have them there until it is determined that there is no longer an urgent threat based on what the police are investigating and updating on. In regards to the lights at Johns Creeks, we sustained weather-related outages to a portion of the lights that were remedied as soon as we were notified."

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