FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have made a break in the case of a suspected serial burglar in Fort Lauderdale. They said he’s become a huge neighborhood problem after stealing from several unlocked vehicles.
Fort Lauderdale Police said they think the man has been operating in the neighborhood for at least two years, and they said they know of 10 incidents he’s been involved in and there could be more.
“He comes up right next to the driver’s side door on his bike, check the driver’s side door if it’s open, he’ll get inside of the vehicle and kind of rummage through it to see what he can take,” said Fort Lauderdale Police spokesperson Casey Lienning.
Fort Lauderdale Police said they’ve now nabbed the serial burglar. They identified him as 58-year-old Richard Hellams, who they believe has broken into at least 10 cars over the past two years in the Riverland area of Fort Lauderdale.
Vincent Valldeparas said the suspect tried breaking into both of his cars.
“I’m tired of it. It got to the point that every single morning, I would look and see if anyone has been around the property that’s not supposed to be,” he said.
Hellams has a style, police said. He uses his bike, goes from house to house, and then just looks for unlocked cars.
“All over the neighborhood in the last month alone, there’s probably been five or six people reporting getting broken into,” Valldeperas said.
There is an easy way to protect yourself.
“This serves as a great reminder to our neighbors: Just lock your doors,” Lienning said.
Vincent keeps his cars locked but knows it’s easy to forget.
“They get home, they forget to lock it. They’re at home loading groceries, whatever it is, and they forget to lock,” Valldeperas said.
Police said that’s exactly who Hellams was targeting. They think he got inside at least 10 times.
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