A string of car break-ins at a popular Southwest Florida mall have targeted pricey items left in locked cars.
According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, thieves broke into at least five vehicles at Miromar Outlets in the past week, apparently using a tool to break locks. Thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was stolen, including clothing, electronics and jewelry.
A spokesperson for Miromar told Fox 4 that they do not comment on criminal investigations or mall security, and would not confirm whether or not security was being stepped up in response to the break-ins.
"If they want people to keep coming back, they're going to need to do some security," said shopper Jan Heiser. "All they've got to do is just drive through on the golf cart every so often, and just look for anything suspicious."
Even though the car burglars broke into locked cars, one retired police officer said that people can still take steps to make it more likely a thief would pass up their cars.
"My suggestion would be to lock everything in the trunk," said Dominick, retired from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. "Don't leave opportunities for people to look in your car and say 'oh, look at that.'"
Miromar is only a few miles from Southwest Florida International Airport, and deputies say that some of the vehicles that were burglarized were rental cars.
So far, no arrests have been made for the crimes.