‘It destroyed my life’: Couple who had $60K stolen from vehicle among dozens of reported big cash thefts in Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is warning people about keeping cash in their cars.

In the last month, there have been seven incidents of large amounts of cash being stolen from cars in Duval County. News4JAX requested reports of cash robberies from vehicles this year from the JSO and got nearly 30 reports back. The lowest amount reported stolen was $350, and the biggest amount was $90,000 cash.

Cynthia Carrillo said she had $60,000 stolen out of her vehicle several months ago.

“It destroyed my life, it destroyed my dreams, everything, I fell on the floor. I couldn’t believe it. It’s like a restart,” Carrillo told News4JAX.

Jesus Montoya and Carrillo own several businesses including a food truck. Back in June, they took out $60,000 in cash from the Wells Fargo on Beach Boulevard with the intention of buying another food truck from Miami. They drove across the street from the bank to get a coffee from Starbucks when their worst nightmare happened.

“We parked right in that spot right there and the camera from the Chipotle saw the two people. There’s one trying to get in the truck, I think that’s the guy who took the money, and one was watching us in the Starbucks for whenever we came out,” Carrillo said.

Cynthia and Jesus believe they were followed by someone from the Wells Fargo parking lot.

Tony Khazaal owns Touchdown Liquors on Beach Boulevard. He was also the victim of a car break-in back in July. He went from the same Wells Fargo on Beach Boulevard to Naddaf Wholesale off University Boulevard. He said a suspect took $8,000 in the process.

“It happened so fast, in a matter of four to five minutes,” Khazaal said. “I went in to grab a couple of things, I went out and they had already broken the lock of the truck, took the money and left.”

Khazaal said if he could go back in time, he would have never left the money in the car.

“Ever since I have been very careful going back and forth to the bank and of course not leaving any money in the car. It happened so fast…it could happen to anybody,” Khazaal said.

Khazaal also believes he was followed from the bank.

In both cases, the victims are still waiting to hear anything about a suspect or suspects being caught. JSO is advising anyone making a large deposit or withdrawal to not leave that money in the car, and make sure it’s in a secure location. If you believe you’re being followed, you should call police.

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