Three teenagers are facing felony charges for burglary after they were accused of stealing various items from multiple vehicles in Ocala.
On Monday, November 7, two Ocala Police Department officers were patrolling in the area of SE 15th Avenue and SE 8th Street when they observed three teenagers who were walking in the neighborhood, according to a social media post from OPD.
The situation appeared to be suspicious, according to OPD, and one of the officers made contact with the teenage boys who ranged in age from 14 to 16. The teens advised that they needed to get home but where unable to contact their parents.
After the officers offered to give the teens a ride in their patrol vehicles, a search was conducted to make sure that the teens did not have any weapons. According to OPD, the teens had several items that did not belong to them, including two women’s wallets, a set of keys, and an expensive watch.
During this encounter, OPD stated that the officers learned that the teens had burglarized multiple vehicles in the area. An OPD detective was requested, and the detective arrived on scene to continue the investigation.
OPD stated that the teens led the officers to each vehicle that was burglarized, and the officers attempted to contact the owners. While some of the items were returned to the victims, OPD advised that officers were unable to locate the owner of the watch.
If your vehicle was in the area at the time of the thefts and you are missing an expensive watch, OPD asks that you call the department at 352-369-7000.
On its Facebook page, the Ocala Police Department stressed the importance of locking doors. “It only takes a few seconds for a burglar to break into your vehicle, grab some money, valuables, or a gun and run off. It only takes you one second to lock your doors and prevent this crime from happening.”
OPD added, “Don’t make it easy for burglars. Remove all of your valuables from your vehicle and lock your doors.”