Car burglars on the prowl


Published: Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 11:38 p.m.

Vehicle owners need to keep an eye on their stereos and Global Positioning System devices, Gainesville police warned Wednesday.

Seven vehicle break-ins were reported late Monday and early Tuesday where a thief smashed or pried out a glass window and stole items, mainly stereo systems and GPS devices. The culprit appeared to be targeting Pioneer stereos, said police spokeswoman Officer Summer Hallett.

Most of the thefts occurred in the section of the city police have designated Whiskey, east of SW 34th Street and north of Williston Road.

The zone reported the most burglaries of all of the police zones in the city during an 11-month period from January through November in 2008.

Police cautioned residents to pay attention if car alarms go off and to limit evidence, if possible, that they have a stereo system or GPS device in the vehicle.

Gainesville police arrested James Marion Brown Jr., 38, of Gainesville, Tuesday on charges of burglary and loitering and prowling, Alachua County jail records showed.

Witnesses spotted Brown removing the plants from two locations: one in the 1600 block of NE 3rd Avenue and another in the 2000 block of NE 3rd Avenue.

Brown hauled the plants away in a shopping cart and, when talking to police, said he planned to sell them.

The value of the plants was estimated at about $1,400.

The research could help others who are trying to navigate their way through the criminal justice system. Those who volunteer will be allowed to remain anonymous. Also, participating in an interview will not affect any court case you may be involved in now.

Those interested in participating should leave a message at 392-1025, extension 777.

Crime Stoppers allows residents to anonymously provide information that could solve a crime. In return, tipsters may be eligible for cash rewards up toe $1,000. To provide a tip about a crime, call the Crime Stoppers hotline anonymously at 372-STOP (372-7867).

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