FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Concerned residents are speaking out after, officials said, burglars vandalized multiple vehicles outside four fire stations in Fort Lauderdale and took off with several guns.
The first responders were out on duty at the time of the burglary. Officials said six firearms, out of two fire stations, were stolen.
According to officials, firefighters came back from their shifts to find their personal cars and trucks with shattered windows and their personal belongings gone.
“So far, about 21 vehicles from firefighters and deputies have been broken into,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright.
BSO’s Burglary Apprehension Team investigated the scene and dusted for prints.
“Detectives from our crime scene unit went out, they processed the scene, they collected evidence. They also inventoried the items that were stolen,” Coleman-Wright said. “Some of the items are firearms, and of course that causes concern for law enforcement to know that these firearms are out there.”
Area residents said they’re outraged and shocked by the break-ins.
“That’s kind of insane,” said Shelly Ursry. “They’re going out to help people, and then people are coming in while they’re helping them to break into their cars.”
Investigators said thieves targeted multiple vehicles at two Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue stations over the weekend, one located in the area of Southwest Fourth Avenue and 28th Road and the other near Southwest 27th Avenue and 10th Street.
Burglars also broke into well over a dozen cars at a Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue station along Southwest Third Avenue and 33rd Street. A gate at this location did not appear to deter the brazen crooks. They also got into vehicles at a station in West Park.
However, the thieves may have been caught on surveillance video, making neighbors hopeful they will be caught. Police do not plan on releasing the video anytime soon.
“I can’t believe it, with it being so close to the holidays, too, that people are doing this,” said Ursry.
“They go out to save someone’s life, and to have to come back and their windows are busted? That’s not fair to them,” said Smith, “because they’re looking out for us, but we’re not looking out for them. I hope they catch them, and I’m so sorry this did happen to the firefighters.”
BSO is hoping the community can help. “We’re asking anyone with information,” Coleman-Wright said. “If you know anything about this trend that’s going on, or these suspects, please call Crime Stoppers.”
Detectives continue to look over the surveillance video to determine if the same people are behind all four burglaries. It is believed at least three of the burglaries are connected.
If you have any information on these burglaries, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
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