The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office says a 19-year-old man is responsible for a large, one-night car burglary spree.
Alexander Parnell was arrested after 19 cars were burglarized late Saturday night. Detectives say he has been charged with the burglary of four cars, and they are running fingerprints found on the other 15, expecting his will match.
Deputies say they were called out to a home in the Lakewood Park neighborhood in northeast Fort Pierce in the middle of the night, and spotted Parnell on the side of the road.
According to investigators, he had a woman's purse with several stolen items inside, including perfume, a wallet, and Xbox games. Detectives went on to recover other stolen property as well.
"We have recovered a tremendous amount of personal belongings from those burglaries, many of which the people don't even know they were victims, but we have their stuff here," said St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara.
Because there are still a lot of unclaimed items, deputies believe there may have been more than 19 cars burglarized in all. They're asking anyone who lives in the Lakewood Park area to check and make sure nothing is missing from their vehicles. Anyone who believes their car was burglarized is asked to call the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office at 772-462-7300.
Sheriff Mascara says every car that was burglarized had been left unlocked.
"When you leave a car unlocked and there's someone that wants to take advantage of that, it's really simple," he said.
The sheriff's office says burglaries spike in the summertime because juveniles are out of school and spending more time on the streets. Sheriff Mascara says this recent burglary spree is a reminder to never leave a car unlocked, even in a driveway.