STUART, Fla. — The Martin County Sheriff's Office has a message for traveling criminals hoping to commit burglaries.
A new bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis will now enhance the degree of the crime for burglaries purposely committed in counties other than which the criminal lives.
"The vast majority of offenses that we have here when it comes to car burglaries, and residential burglaries, are out of county offenders," said Sheriff William Snyder. "They get up in the morning, they leave their county, and they travel statewide, generally staying close to the coast, generally using the interstate and turnpike."
HB 6037 was authored by Rep. John Snyder, R-Stuart, who is also the sheriff's son.
Rep. Snyder said this amendment was in the works for two years and was created after countless conversations with law enforcement agencies across the state.
The sheriff said in the past when his agency was able to catch traveling burglars, the state attorney's office would have trouble prosecuting them due to loopholes in the law.
John Snyder said this new amendment will now lead to more jail time and that it could even have a ripple effect, leading to a decrease in other crimes.
"These individuals are targeting vehicles, purposely looking for guns," said John Snyder. "And so, it's those guns that go back into the inner city that wreak havoc on a whole other level."
The bill will take effect on Oct. 1.