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ECSO investigating rash of rural auto break-ins

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators are looking into a rash of automobile break-ins that have plagued rural residents from Canoe to Robinsonville over the past several days.

Chief Deputy Mike Lambert reported Friday that the intruder (or intruders) has broken into several vehicles that have one thing in common — each was unlocked.

“Over the past week, we’ve had numerous break-ins where things have been stolen out of cars,” Lambert said. “We want to ask the public’s help in stopping these break-ins. The first thing people can do to help is to lock their cars. Also, don’t leave firearms, jewelry, pocketbooks or large amounts of money in your car.

“Losing the other things is bad enough, but identity theft could affect somebody for a lifetime, and stolen firearms could get somebody innocent hurt or killed.”

The chief deputy said the thieves (or thief) seem to be looking for “soft targets,” and so far have “moved on if the vehicle is locked.”

The latest break-in occurred overnight Thursday-Friday at a residence on Tumbling Lane. Nothing was stolen in that B&E, but the car was thoroughly ransacked in a search for valuables.

Lambert urged rural residents to be on the lookout for anything that appears to be out of the ordinary in their respective communities.

“If you see something, like somebody walking at night, that doesn’t seem right, or if you see a suspicious vehicle or hear dogs barking, please call us so we can investigate,” he said. “That may be the break we need to catch whoever is doing this. We are going to have to have the public’s help, though.”

He said that anyone with suspicions about an unknown person or vehicle can call emergency dispatchers at 251-809-2154 or can leave an anonymous tip on the sheriff’s office website, escambiacountysheriffal.org.