Four cars were stolen overnight Tuesday in the Bluffton area, continuing a string of crimes in which thieves joyride in stolen, unlocked cars, then abandon them, according to the Bluffton Police Department and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
Not all of the vehicles have been recovered. The Bluffton Police Department reports that three of them -- one stolen from The Haven, one from Palmetto Pointe and one from Parkside at Baynard Park -- have not been found. The fourth was stolen from Windtree Lane and is being investigated by the Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office has responded to 14 similar reports of stolen vehicles in the greater Bluffton area since mid May. All of them were left unlocked, with the keys inside or hidden nearby, said Sgt. Robin McIntosh. All of those vehicles have been located, though some items inside the vehicles, such as firearms and cash, were not recovered.
Some of the thefts have occurred in gated communities, including Berkeley Hall and Rose Hill Plantation. The culprits are likely walking in and driving the cars out, McIntosh said.
No suspects have been identified, she said. Deputies have swabbed the recovered vehicles for suspect DNA, she said.