MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Martin County is working to crack down on culprits from out of town with the help of a new Florida law.
WPTV spoke to Martin County Sheriff William Snyder to find out how he's targeting so-called "traveling criminals" in an effort to end a dangerous trend.
A slew of burglaries and thefts in the county has law enforcement cracking down on criminals.
"Nearly 90% or more of our burglars, or burglaries in this county, are from traveling criminals," Snyder said.
He said they're mainly coming from counties further south like Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
"They drive into our county, do a string of car burglaries, break into a house, get on the interstate, go north, and they'll hit counties all up and down the coast," Snyder said.
The sheriff said he's putting a new state law to good use for these so-called "traveling criminals" by not offering them a bond before they appear in front of a judge.
"The judge will know at that time this person or persons they've come from somewhere else, so the bonds are invariably high," Snyder said. "We just had a bond at almost $800,000, which is really unheard of for a car burglary."
The new law applies to burglaries, but the county said it is working to apply it to thefts too.
The sheriff's office has gone as far as posting a sign along Interstate 95 in Martin County that says "Traveling Criminals, No Bond!!!" to put thieves from other counties on notice.
"If you get caught, you're going to stay in jail until a very unfriendly judge hears the facts of the case, and you're likely to stay with us until trial," Snyder said.