‘It’s super frustrating’: Recent rash of auto thefts has Riverside neighbors worried
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A recent rash of auto thefts and burglaries has left many people in the Riverside, Five Points and Avondale neighborhoods wondering if they will be the next victims.

“Everybody has been talking about it because it has been happening so frequently,” resident Rebecca Anderson said.

The latest incident happened on Ernest Street in the Five Points neighborhood. Thieves broke into a 2022 Hyundai by popping the back passenger window without setting off the alarm.

Then, they tried to do the same to the other 2022 Hyundai parked to the right.

“It’s super frustrating and annoying,” recent victim Olga K. said.

Three vehicles were targeted by thieves during this incident. All three cars were locked. Nothing was stolen but there were signs the thieves were trying to steal the cars.

The device or tool the thieves used shattered the glass of Olga K’s boyfriend’s car without the alarm going off. Once inside, the thief tried to start the car but couldn’t.

The other thief tried to use the same tool to break into Olga’s car. It didn’t work but it did damage her window seal.

“It cost me $500 to get the windows fixed on my insurance claim. And the fact that they’re hitting the wrong cars, we have push-to-start. We don’t have key ignitions. So even if they started it, they couldn’t drive off with it.” Olga K. said.

RELATED | These are the 10 most stolen vehicles in Florida

According to the JSO crime map, 41 vehicles in the Riverside Avondale area were either reported burglarized or stolen within the last four weeks.

“It is frustrating. You go into your truck and find everything strung out,” previous victim Tyson Hawker said.

For a long time now, police have warned people to make sure their vehicles are locked at night. But lately, thieves have been entering vehicles by popping the window, and they’re doing it in a way in which the alarm does not go off.

“It goes to deciding where you want to lock your car at night because if it’s going to get broken into, you might as well just have them open the door rather than break the windows,” Hawker said.

MORE | Half of the cars reported stolen in Jacksonville last week were made by Hyundai and Kia

Many homes in this part of town don’t have garages. That means many car owners are forced to keep their vehicles parked overnight on the street or in the driveway.

If parking overnight on the street is your only option, there are measures you can put in place to prevent your car from being stolen.

One way to deter thieves is to have a steering wheel lock. When they see the lock, they know there is no way the car can be stolen.

The thefts and burglaries are mainly happening at night.

Neighbors we spoke with also said thieves appear to be targeting areas where there are little or no street lights.

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