Suspects are targeting valuables in parked cars, especially at schools and child care centers lately, Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies said in a news release.
The suspects have been seen parking next to parents' vehicles while they are dropping kids off at schools and child care facilities, then waiting to grab purses and other valuables left in plain sight when the parent leaves the area. Sheriff's say that soon after, the suspects are using the victim's identification to cash stolen checks.
In some cases, the victims' cars were left unlocked. In other cases, windows have been smashed.
A rash of burglaries over the past two weeks prompted deputies to issue a warning to many local schools and child care centers earlier this week.
Sheriff's deputies say that a recent suspect vehicle has been a newer, dark-colored SUV, possibly a Mercedes.
Sheriff's are asking that anyone with information to call Pinellas County Burglary and Pawn Unit detectives at 727-582-6200. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.