Panama City Police Investigate String of Car Burglaries

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Residents in several neighborhoods throughout northern Panama City are on edge following five car burglaries over the weekend.

"Definitely not what I expected," said concerned neighbor Jayme Thomas.

They all happened within a few miles of each other, the first three overnight Friday, then one on Saturday and another Sunday. Police said the thieves got away with everything from a laptop to a rifle.

"It appears that they moved things throughout the vehicle looking for things of value. In one occasion the garage door was raised, that being a remote control left in the car. The suspects apparently mashed the button which raised the garage door alerting the homeowner," Panama City Police Lieutenant Robert Luther told NewsChannel 7.

Investigators said there were also two more failed break-ins in the same area, all which they believe could be connected. The burglar or burglars didn't have to try very hard. All they had to do was open the car doors.

"It was an unlocked vehicle whether it be by mistake or intentional. They left the vehicles unattended with valuables inside," added Lt. Luther.

Officers said there were witnesses, but they didn't see enough to help develop any suspects.

"They couldn't even identify a race. Other than the way they walk and everything, they're going to be males," Luther said.

As the search continued Monday, the crimes served as a sobering reminder to drivers and homeowners.

"Definitely lock your doors," said Luther.

If you have any information about the crimes, call the Panama City Police Department at (850) 872-3100.

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