At least 40 cars were broken into by thieves targeting identity information early Tuesday in Dania Beach, authorities said.
The thieves smashed the windows of locked cars at the Sheridan Lakes and Meadowbrook apartment complexes in addition to the Best Western hotel at 1900 Stirling Road, the Broward Sheriff's Office said. Detectives said the usual targets of electronics in the cars were bypassed for documents.
“In some cases there were actual electronics left in the vehicles and the thieves completely ignored that,” said Gina Carter of the BSO. “They were looking for specific personal information.”
“It’s worse because now they can tap into your bank account,” said Alex Gold, whose car was vandalized. “They can tap into your, anything that you’ve got and they can get all the information.”
Richard Brennan said he was selling his Toyota Camry on Craigslist and had a buyer lined up when he discovered the car has a window smashed in.
"The person luckily bought it, but I gave a discount for the window," Brennan said.
BSO said the theft of the personal documents is a sign of the times because it’s potentially much more lucrative than a car stereo or GPS.
“The fact that they’re targeting this many vehicles in one city, it seems organized the way they’re approaching it,” Carter said, “and tells us that this is a growing problem and that we as residents need to be aware.”
The BSO is asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.