JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two days after a 27-year-old woman is shot and killed outside her home while confronting a car burglar, the Riverside community is hit by more car break-ins.
According to residents who live in the neighborhood, there were several police investigations in Riverside, all within a few blocks of each other.
There was a large police presence Thursday morning on Green Street near King Street — one block from where Caroline Schollaert was killed outside her home Tuesday morning.
There were other incidents on College Street near Stockton and on Green at West Street.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office crime map, there have been 35 reported crimes, within a half-mile radius of Tuesday’s murder over the last month. Some of the more serious crimes ranging from assault to armed robberies with a deadly weapon.
“A car break-in turning into murder just does not make sense,” said one Riverside resident who did not want to be identified. She said she’s lived in Riverside for more than six years. “We’re hearing more reports of it being more organized, where there is a driver who drives a car and there are several people who go through the cars on the streets. It’s very organized and it’s kind of scary. I had my car rifled through this morning — all the stuff in my truck was thrown out everywhere. They had gone through everything. I think we definitely need more of a police presence here.”
This comes two days after Schollaert, an active member of the US Coast Guard, was shot and killed while confronting a car burglar, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s a tragic case,” said Wyllie Hodges, executive director of First Coast Crime Stoppers. “I guess what makes it more tragic, the girl was trying to do the right thing. Crime Stoppers gives people the opportunity to call in remain anonymous give information about crimes or criminals and if their information leads to an arrest, they receive a reward.”
Crime Stoppers has put up a $4,000 reward. The Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 530 has offered an additional $5,000.
“Yeah, this is horrible,” the president of Jacksonville FOP, Steve Zona, said. “Here you have somebody serving our country in the USCG who was confronting somebody at her own house, in her own driveway, that was committing a crime and she ends up being murdered in her own driveway. Very tragic. Obviously, our prayers go out to her family and the reason we want to offer this reward is we want to help bring the person(s) involved in this to justice.”
If you’d like to report information and remain anonymous, you can do so by calling 1-866-455-TIPS or you can hit **TIPS on your cellphone if you’re in Florida and you will be routed to the correct Crime Stoppers program.
According to JSO, Tuesday’s murder remains an active investigation.
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