Increase in construction site burglaries leads to arrest of man and woman in St. Johns County

An investigation on an increase in construction site burglaries led to the arrest of a man and woman in St. Johns County Wednesday.

Deputies said since early November, their office saw an increase in burglaries where copper wire and copper tubing had been cut out of homes under construction in the county’s northwest area.

After taking several reports on these incidents, detectives started investigating the string of thefts and developed many suspect vehicles, along with a potential suspect.

According to deputies, the suspect entered St. Johns County in the early hours of Nov. 22.

Deputies said they located the suspect backed into a driveway of a new subdivision with the license plate removed. And, when they discovered the vehicle was occupied, they said the suspect tried to drive away.

Deputies were able to stop the vehicle shortly after, they said.

Upon inspecting the vehicle, deputies said they found burglary tools and narcotics paraphernalia.

A woman was also inside the vehicle.

Deputies arrested Robert Surface and Lauren Vereen. According to deputies, Surface was already on felony probation for construction site burglary and Vereen admitted to several burglaries in the area.

Surface and Vereen are facing multiple charges including burglary, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of parole.

They are being held in the St. Johns County Detention Center.

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