Florida burglary suspect: Many cars were unlocked

John Egan

A Florida teenager who admits he committed at least 100 car burglaries and attempted at least 500 more says it was “very easy” to get into the cars because one-fifth of the ones he checked were unlocked.

Morgan Deblock, 19, was arrested June 17 in Valrico, Fla. So far, he faces seven counts of burglary of an unoccupied vehicle, six counts of possession of burglary tools and one count of car theft -- all in connection with a one-month crime spree, according to the Hillsboro County Sheriff’s Office.

Florida car burglary suspect Morgan Deblock.
Deblock, who is homeless, told investigators that he never once broke a window or used force to gain entry into cars.

When Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies stopped Deblock, he was pushing a motor scooter that he admitted he had stolen from the driveway of a nearby home. At the time, Deblock was barefoot.

If a crook steals something – such as a purse or a cellphone – from your car, your car insurance does not cover the theft. Rather, personal belongings taken from your car are covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Damage done to a car during a break-in falls under optional “comprehensive” coverage that can be added to your car insurance policy.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Ana (Calif.) Police Department recommend following these steps to prevent car burglary:

• Close your windows and lock your doors when your car is parked.

• Do not leave valuables in plain view in your car; lock them in your trunk.

• Park your car where it will be frequently and easily seen.

• When possible, park in well-lit areas.

• Never leave your car unattended while the engine is running, even for a minute.

• If possible, park your car in a secure garage. Most car burglars don’t want to break into a garage to steal items from your vehicle.

• Install and use a car alarm system. The system may not prevent a burglar from breaking into your car; however, it attracts unwanted attention and scares many thieves off before they have a chance to steal anything.

• Consider installing a pullout-style stereo or a stereo with a detachable face. Take the stereo or faceplate with you when you leave your car.

Among the items commonly stolen from cars are briefcases, garage door openers, laptop computers, tools, cash, keys, mail, purses and stereos, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

“Regardless of the motives or causes, auto burglary is a problem,” the Santa Ana Police Department says. “Victims lose valuable belongings and suffer other monetary consequences in the form of property damage and lost time. We all become victims when the increase in auto burglary translates into higher … insurance premiums.”

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