Beach-goers vehicles are being targeted by burglars, authorities warn to keep personal items close

Pillowcase burglars turning from homes to cars

STUART, Fla. - Michelle Edelman is spending each afternoon at the Jensen Beach boat ramp.

"I have a daughter here in sail camp," she explained.

She makes a point to bring her bag with her when she sits outside.

"You have to be very smart about what you leave in your car, because people can get in there," said Edelman. "Luckily I have a hard-top convertible, so people can't slice the top. "

Edelman is extra-cautious about protecting her belongings and her identity, because her husband's identity has been stolen before.

"Someone actually started a business under his name," she recalled. "Sad thing is, they haven't caught the person, which boggles my mind. "

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said thieves are now aiming for parking lots at beaches, where people tend to leave belongings while they are out on the sand.

"They're tending to leave their purse or their wallet in the car," said Sheriff Snyder. "These burglars know that, and they're preying on the innocent people that are out enjoying their day. "

Edelman's accounts have been locked, so no new credit lines can be opened.

"Keep your personal life personal," she said, of her decision to freeze the accounts.

"Whether it be a bill, a credit card receipt, anything with personal identification, certainly social security information-- anything that you sign, shred it," said Snyder.

Edelman said with identity theft on the rise in south Florida, she said these days you can't be too careful.

"It happens more and more, I think it's too easy for people to steal identities. "

 

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