Burglars take guns from Marion County deputies' patrol cars

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is in the middle of an active investigation after somebody broke into a bunch of cars, even hitting two sheriff’s vehicles and stealing guns belonging to the department.  Now, the search is on to get the guns back and catch who did it.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says there’s a rash of vehicle burglaries across the county. Many vehicles were left unlocked. Some were broken into.  Lieutenant  Ryan Robbins with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said, “It’s been going on for over two months now. We’ve probably had over 100  burglaries at this point in time.”

Deputies said it looks like whole neighborhoods are being targeted at once.  They said sometime between December 23 and 28, two deputies’ take-home vehicles, that happened to be in those neighborhoods, were broken into.   One of the vehicles was in Ocala, the other was in the county.  At least one of the vehicles were locked, Robbins said.

Robbins said 5 guns were stolen, four of those are department-issued.  “The weapons were properly secured within the vehicles. But, that didn’t stop these folks from being so bold to go in there and take possession of these firearms.”

Now, the Sheriff’s Office is working with Ocala Police Department to actively search for suspects in the burglaries.  Robbins said, “Be very aware and observant. Especially at night. Any suspicious vehicles, or movement of people in the streets, they don’t recognize or know, please call us.”

Deputies said they can’t stress it enough to lock your doors and keep valuables out of site in your car.