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Auto Crimes Up At Picnic Island

Posted Oct 9, 2006 by Jamie Pilarczyk

Updated Oct 10, 2006 at 12:14 PM

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An increase in auto burglaries at Picnic Island Park have Tampa police sending out a strong message.

“Don’t leave stuff in your car,” said Andrea Davis, media relations specialist with the Tampa Police Department. “Every single incident has been someone leaving something in their car.”

Wallets, keys in the ignition, purses and the like are pure temptation for thieves looking for an easy target, said Davis. By keeping cars locked and leaving valuables out of site, Davis said, “The chances of being a victim are slim.”

The incidents of auto burglary at Picnic Island, 7409 Picnic Island Blvd., near Port Tampa, have been on the increase since July, where only one auto burglary was noted. There were five cases in September and four the weekend of Sept. 29. There have been two so far in October.

“People think they are in a secluded area and are going out on their boats and so leave stuff in their cars,” said Davis. “This is a crime of opportunity. (They) are making it easy.”

The department’s Street Anti-Crime unit, made up of officers dressed in plain street clothes patrolling areas of high crime patterns, is focusing on Picnic Island now and caught a juvenile in the act, said Davis.

The unit is continuing to pursue leads to see if more individuals are involved.

To report tips, contact the police department at 276-3200.

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