Juvenile caught in string of Whitemarsh Island car burglaries

Juvenile caught in string of Whitemarsh Island car burglaries

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - It's the latest target in a city where crime is reaching into neighborhoods in every part of Savannah.
Wednesday, police have identified a suspect in a recent string of car burglaries on Whitemarsh Island, and police say this is just the latest in a recent pattern of similar incidents they've dealt with on the islands.
It happened on a dead end street of Turnbuckle Court in the Battery Point neighborhood. All the people WTOC spoke to Wednesday say they've never had a problem like this before.
"Yeah, usually we just leave our cars unlocked," said Steve Kania, who's lived here for four years. "You know, you don't really see that kind of thing around here."
Until now, that is, and Kania isn't taking any chances after this weekend.
"It kind of makes you angry," he said.
Police tell WTOC the thief got into several cars in the neighborhood early Sunday morning. Two of those cars were unlocked, at least one other appears to have had the door jimmied.

"And the police rode down this street two hours before this happened, so it's not like they're not present, but they can't be here all the time. So you have to take it into your own hands to look out for your own safety," said one of the neighbors, who didn't want to be identified.

Wednesday, the captain of the islands precinct said they've apprehended and charged a juvenile responsible for these thefts.

One of the cars he entered belonged to this neighbor, who has security cameras installed on her house that caught the thief in action. The video shows an SUV driving down the street beforehand. Then you can see the suspect here as he looks through her vehicle and even opens the trunk.
"It's a quiet neighborhood and the neighbors generally look out for each other, and they tell you if there's something wrong," said Nancy Florentin, who's lived on this street for 20 years.
And that's what police encourage everyone to do, because you know your neighborhood best. More often now, we're seeing that happen online, with community sites like "Nextdoor" and neighborhood watch Facebook groups.

"And that's helpful, because I can't talk to people two streets over every day, but it's a good way for everyone to stay on the same page and know what's going on," said one neighbor.

Captain Best with SCMPD's Island Precinct says this has been an ongoing issue, and though they caught the suspect in this case, they're still searching for another repeat offender.

His message to everyone is going to sound like a broken record, but it is advice that could save you a huge headache when you wake up the next morning – lock your doors, no matter how safe you think your neighborhood is.

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