LAND O’ LAKES, Florida—  For the second time in a week, mothers either picking up or dropping off their children at daycare have been targeted by burglars going after purses or other valuables left in cars while the parent runs inside.
Deputies with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested three men after detectives say they crashed a rented car into a special needs bus filled with developmentally disabled adults. Detectives believe the three had just stolen a purse out of an unlocked car parked at the Discovery Point Daycare Center in Land O’ Lakes.
The Sheriff’s Office says after the crash, the three took off running but were eventually taken into custody by deputies.
Last week, 10News reported on a string of similar cases in Pinellas and Pasco Counties where three different suspects were also targeting daycare centers, breaking into cars while parents went inside to get their kids.
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco says his investigators are still trying to determine if these cases are related.
He referred to the crimes as “Felony Lane” type cases where violent offenders from Orlando and South Florida travel to the Tampa Bay area to commit quick property crimes, often right near the interstate with the hope of a quick escape where local law enforcement won’t follow them out of their jurisdiction.
“These people are preying on our citizens and they’re committing crimes that are consistent across Florida,” said Sheriff Nocco, issuing a warning to other criminals considering a trip to Pasco County. “We’ll track you down, we’ll hunt you down. You commit crimes in Pasco, we’ll come after you.”