Three teens arrested in Collier County face grand theft auto charges

Collier County Sheriff’s Office vehicle. CREDIT: WINK News

Three teenagers were arrested on felony charges in connection with the theft of a vehicle and the attempted break-in of another in the Orangetree community.

Three teens, all from Immokalee, were arrested Monday and face charges of grand theft auto and attempted burglary in connection with the June 22 incident on Summerfield Drive.

On Monday, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office released home surveillance video showing two of the suspects attempting to break in to a vehicle that was parked in a driveway and asked for the public’s help in identifying them.

A CCSO deputy identified one of the suspects in the video.

Deputies went to the teen’s residence where his father and the suspect himself identified him as one of the people in the video.

Detectives say the three teens pulled on car door handles until they found one that was unlocked. They entered the Lincoln MKZ and found the key fob inside, so they stole it, deputies said.

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk reminds everyone to lock your car doors and remove or stow valuables from view all the time.

“We need our community to partner with us by being proactive when it comes to securing their property,” Sheriff Rambosk said.

CCSO has joined other law enforcement agencies across the country to promote the “9 p.m. Routine,” a social media campaign to raise awareness and promote safer habits among residents and visitors, with a view to making it hard for criminals.

The idea is simple: you routinely set an alarm on your smart phone, watch or other device to remind you to:

  1. Remove your valuables from your vehicle or stow them away out of view. This is particularly important with GPS systems, laptop, smartphones and tablets. Make sure to remove all base mounts, cords and chargers from view as well.
  2. Lock your doors even when your car is parked at home. That’s where most unlocked vehicle burglaries happen.
  3. Ensure that vehicle doors and trunks are locked.
  4. Set your car alarm, if you have one.
  5. Check that the gates to your property and doors to your home are also locked.
  6. Turn on exterior lights.

If your vehicle is broken into, report it to law enforcement even if nothing significant was taken. The more information investigators have about these crimes, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to identify and stop the people committing them.

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