Thief stealing from garages of Pinellas County homes - FOX 13 News

Thief stealing from garages of Pinellas County homes

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DUNEDIN (FOX 13) -

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies are on the lookout for a brazen burglar. He's targeting neighborhoods in broad daylight, hitting a handful of homes in just one day.

Stephanie Johns didn't think twice when she pulled into her driveway after an afternoon around town.

"I had just got done doing my errands. I parked the car in the garage, grabbed my phone ran inside, got distracted by a couple of phone calls," Johns said Monday.

When she ran back out to grab her things, something was missing: her purse.

"I thought, 'Well, that's strange! Maybe I'm losing my mind!" she said.

Turns out, she didn't lose anything. Her car was swiped clean by a burglar, while she was just feet away inside.

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies say the burglar hit seven different homes in a single day. All seven had one thing in common: the garage doors were open.

Pinellas deputies were able to snag surveillance video of the crook entering and exiting one victim's garage with ease. They say he hit homes in Dunedin, Palm Harbor, and unincorporated Clearwater...all in the middle of the day, and many times when the homeowners were inside.

"Crime is an opportunity. So if you have the door closed, this guy was obviously going to keep on driving until he came upon something that was available to him," Pinellas County Sheriff's Office's Sgt. Elizabeth Brady said Monday.

It's a lesson learned for Stephanie Johns. Still, she says the crook could've saved himself some trouble.

"If he just would've asked, I probably would have given him some cash. But no, not by stealing," Johns said.

Pinellas deputies say the burglary suspect was seen driving a silver Chevy Malibu with a sun roof. If you have any information, you're asked to give the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office a call at 727-582-6200.

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