SOURCES: United States Secret Service investigates local car theft ring with possible Florida ties

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - 7 Action News is now learning that there is a possible connection between the car break-ins happening across metro Detroit.  Sources say that the United States Secret Service is now involved in the case.

Some of the places the thieves are targeting are baseball diamonds, local gyms, and even the city parks. They are all locations where drivers typically feel it's safe to leave things like purses and wallets in your car.  All three are places thieves targeted over the past month stealing money and valuables. 

So far the cities have been hit are Royal Oak, Berkley, Madison Heights, Troy, Sterling Heights, and Birmingham.  Birmingham Police have photos of the thieves using credit cards they stole. 

Sources say these thieves are well organized and one group is a gang out of Florida.  Sources also say they believe at least some of the thefts in the different cities are connected.  Their M.O. is to try car doors that are not locked or simply bust out the windows and take what they want. 

Even when you are smart enough to hide things like wallets under the seat, the thieves are finding them.

The problem has become so rampant, the United States Service is investigating due to the amount of money stolen. The thieves are using stolen credit cards and bank cards until they cannot get any more cash out of them. When the cards stop working, the groups start looking for another car to break into.

Police tell 7 Action News the best thing someone can do to protect themselves from theft is to not leave any valuables in the car.

Police are also looking to see if there is any connection between those break-ins and the arrest of two people caught on the west side of the state.  Melissa Duncan and Travis brown were caught breaking into cars in Rockford.  Police said both have ties to a car burglary ring based in Florida.

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