A 23-year-old man is being held at the county jail on multiple counts of burglary of a conveyance, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday in a press release.
Jacob Zuniga, of the 500 block of Roosevelt Avenue in Masaryktown, is a suspect in a string of vehicle burglaries that allegedly took place on Aug. 29, in which seven vehicles were entered.
Six victims reported the seven vehicle burglaries, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Items taken from the unlocked vehicles included cash, a tablet, tools, a purse, a cellphone and personal identification, the Sheriff’s Office said, adding that several of the vehicles were ransacked but nothing was taken.
The Sheriff’s Office added that a witness observed a male suspect enter a neighbor's vehicle. The witness confronted the suspect, who then fled the area on foot.
Soon after, the witness saw a woman driving a truck in the area, and the woman said she was looking for her brother-in-law, who matched the witness’s description of the suspect, but the witness did not get the woman’s name.
Deputies collected evidence from the scene.
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, detectives were able to identify Zuniga as a possible suspect, the Sheriff’s Office said. The detectives made contact with Zuniga's brother at Jacob Zuniga’s address the next day, and the brother said his wife was out looking for Zuniga the night the vehicle burglaries were committed, adding that they had been drinking heavily and had had a verbal altercation when Zuniga left the house on foot.
Detectives were unable to locate Zuniga at the residence.
Later on Sept. 8, Zuniga called the Sheriff's Office and agreed to meet with detectives after work. During questioning, Zuniga said he had been very drunk and belligerent toward family members on the night of the vehicle burglaries, adding that he blacked out and was going through neighborhood vehicles trying to find a pair of lost glasses.
Zuniga was arrested and charged with seven counts of Burglary of a Conveyance, the Sheriff’s Office said, and he was transported to the Hernando County Detention Center, where he is being held in lieu of a $7,000 bond.