Gainesville Police Department announced Friday that burglaries are 50 percent higher compared to the same time last year.
Since January, 280 burglaries have occurred, according to a press release.
Investigators found a trend in juveniles stealing from unlocked houses and cars and later selling the goods for drug money, according to the release.
On Saturday at about 4:25 a.m., Nicholas Wienclaw, 23, pulled on the driver’s side door handle of the car of a Ridgemar Commons resident, who watched from his apartment window, according to a police report.
Out of the 59 reported vehicle burglaries reported between Feb. 16 and March 15, 70 percent of the cars were unlocked, according to the release.
Northwood Pines is among the most impacted neighborhoods, according to the release. GPD’s Traffic Safety Team responded by pulling over residents and giving them fliers on residential and vehicle security.
Police also received new patrol areas, and GPD is offering rewards for information leading to an arrest or prosecution, according to the release.
“We can’t patrol every inch of the city at once,” GPD spokesman Officer Ben Tobias wrote in an email. “We have to reach out to our residents who serve as our extra eyes and ears in the community.”