Vehicles burglarized at sports complex

OKEECHOBEE — Six vehicles were burglarized Saturday at the Okeechobee Sports Complex as adults were nearby watching baseball or softball games.
Incident reports by Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) deputies state that all of the vehicles were locked. Thieves gained entry into the vehicles by breaking out door windows.

Those reports also note that latent fingerprints were found on some of the vehicles.

The break-ins all occurred April 15 between 1:23 p.m. and 2:17 p.m.
In the first burglary, thieves entered the vehicle parked near the baseball fields and took an Ipad, Iphone, a Samsung cell phone, a Vera Bradley wallet, a Florida driver’s license, bank cards and a credit card.

At 2:06 p.m. the thieves hit their second vehicle of the afternoon. In this theft, they made off with a: black wallet; six different credit cards; Walmart gift cards; a driver’s license; an insurance card; and, a gift card with $20 on it.

“The wallet was laying in plain sight on the center console. Nothing else in the vehicle was disturbed or out of place,” pointed out Deputy Daniel Eng in his report.

In the day’s third burglary, thieves really got very little. The vehicle owner told Deputy Corporal Marcus Collier all that was missing was a gray, Nine West purse; a woman’s driver’s license; and, several credit cards.

“(The victim) advised that the purse was sitting on the floor board of the truck, between the driver’s seat and passenger seat,” stated Cpl. Collier’s report. “It appeared that whoever busted the window just reached in and grabbed the purse and did not disturb anything else.”

Around 2:10 p.m. the brazen burglars broke out the passenger door window, dumped the contents of a woman’s purse onto the floor and made off with: a wallet; Florida driver’s license; Social Security card; and, multiple prepaid debit cards.

OCSO Deputy Robbie Lamb went on to point out in this burglary that the victim left her purse “… in between the front seats and covered it with a towel.”

The next break-in took place about 6 minutes later when thieves broke out the passenger-door window of a 2013 Ford pickup truck. The method of entering the truck was the same as in the other burglaries, noted OCSO Deputy Devon Satallante.

Deputy Satallante noted the victim lost a brown leather purse containing $200 in cash and her driver’s license.

“While looking at the truck for evidence, I looked underneath the driver’s side rear wheel. I found an I-pad and two cell phones wedged in the wheel well,” stated Deputy Satallante.

He also learned the electronics were taken in another burglary and returned them to their rightful owner.

The final reported incident of the day took place at 2:17 p.m. when the thieves used the same modus operandi and made off with a woman’s wallet, Florida driver’s license and Social Security card.

“It should be noted the person or persons appeared to use a glass punching tool to gain access to this vehicle,” stated Deputy Nathaniel Mitchell.

The burglaries have been assigned to OCSO Detective Heath Hughes.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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