Man accused of nearly a dozen car burglaries caught through iPhone tracker

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PALM BAY, Fla. - A man accused of burglarizing unsecured cars was released on GPS monitoring after Palm Bay police connected him to close to a dozen car break-ins.

Police say 19-year-old Tyler Witkowski admitted to many more.

He was caught after he allegedly stole an iPhone from someone who had a GPS tracking device on the phone.

Police said Witkowski admitted to the break-ins, saying he needed to make ends meet.

According to police, the thefts may have been going on for months.

Loose change, cellphones, even a Glock 17 mm handgun -- Palm Bay police said Witkowski made a habit of taking anything he could access from other people's cars.

Witkowski made a first appearance Thursday on multiple charges of burglary and theft and was released on his own recognizance.

The judge did impose a curfew and ankle monitoring that will be supervised by the Palm Bay Police Department.

His release still came as a surprise to some like Alisa-Ann Broussard, whose iPhone GPS helped lead to Witkowski's arrest.

"That's ridiculous, especially how many thefts he's done and admitted too, it's too much," Broussard said.

Witkowski has already been charged in Broussard's case.

But, Palm Bay police told me this afternoon, he's made admissions to dozens upon dozens of other break-ins.

"The number he gave us was actually astronomical, if it is true. However, we have to do our due diligence and investigate each one," Sgt. Ron Lugo with the Palm Bay Police Department said.

Lugo said officers haven't had another car break-in the southeast part of the city since Witkowski's arrest on Wednesday.