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Video Surveillance Records Multiple Broward Car Burglaries

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Surveillance footage in a parking lot in Hollywood, Florida, captured at least 4 men breaking into a total of 52 cars.

The video showed the men smashing windows and climbing into the cars to rummage around for valuables.

A similar incident occurred in Miami-Dade County on or about March 7. 40 cars in a gated condo parking garage were broken into, which was also caught on tape.

Police believe that the crimes may be related.

Breaking into a parked car in Florida is known as burglary of an unoccupied conveyance. This is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

The video surveillance shows the suspects wearing gloves, so it is unlikely that crime scene technicians will be able to process the cars for fingerprints.

Investigators will check local pawn shops to see if any stolen property has been sold.

Punishments for first-time offenders range from probation to jail to even prison time. In a case like this, jail or prison is likely given the fact that - if the two incidents are related - there are over 90 cars that have been broken into.

Each participant can be charged for each car as a principal. This means that even if that one defendant didn't physical break into each and every car, they took part in the grand scheme, which makes them liable for all criminal transgressions.

Restitution is also a big issue in burglary of an unoccupied conveyance cases. Even if each car is insured, assuming a $500 deductible, with 92 cars (52 in Hollywood, 40 in Miami), thats $46,000 in restitution.

Police have not yet announced whether they have any suspects.

Eric Matheny is a Miami burglary lawyer and Broward burglary lawyer.