Suspect arrested in multiple iPhone thefts
Says he learned about it from others in rehab
Boca Raton, FL – Detectives with the Boca Raton Police Services Department have been investigating a number of recent iPhone thefts where the suspect walks up to an unsuspecting victim sitting at an outside table, grabs the device and runs. Two of the three incidents happened on April 23rd and May 5th at the Starbucks located at 2200 West Glades Road, the third took place May 7th at the Starbucks located at 2521 West Glades Road. In all three cases the victim was seated outside and placed their iPhone on the table.
On Tuesday, May 14th, Detectives at the Boca Raton Police Department received a call from a colleague at the Delray Beach Police Department who said they had just arrested two males in connection with a stolen iPhone incident in their city. One of the suspects, Chip Buck, told detectives that he and William Pina met at New Beginnings, a rehab center in Delray Beach. He said they both learned about stealing iPhones and selling them for money from a fellow rehab patient. He said they would then use the money to buy drugs.
In each incident, Buck said Pina and he would drive in Pina’s Silver Acura with Pennsylvania tags. They would take turns walking around the outside of Starbucks. When they saw a phone sitting on a table, they would grab it, run and then jump in their car. Buck said they would then sell the phone to someone in Delray Beach.
Buck was charged by Boca Raton Police with three counts of Grand Theft, three counts of Conspiracy, and one count of Robbery by Sudden Snatching. The investigation continues into other similar cases.
Suspect arrested for breaking into boarded up house
Boca Raton, FL – Investigators from the Boca Raton Police Services Department arrested a suspect for breaking into the same boarded up house on two different occasions. On April 8th, the owner of the property at 201 NE 6th Court reported that someone removed a piece of plywood from the door of the vacant residence. There was no damage, and nothing was missing.
The owner then installed a video surveillance system for the home. On April 29th the owner reported that he captured a white male in the house, and that tools were missing. On May 12th the owner called again because he saw the person captured by his surveillance system back in the area. Officers met with the person, identified as Francisco Lechuga. Lechuga admitted to entering the property, and added that he did so the first time to get out of the rain and the second time to look around.
Francisco Lechuga Moreno was charged with Burglary, Trespassing and Petit Theft.
Francisco Lechuga Moreno
Deerfield Beach, FL
(Photo courtesy PBSO)
Carjacking suspect identified
Boca Raton, FL – On Thursday, March 28 at about 10:50 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a report of a carjacking that occurred at 521 NE 43 Street.
The victim told officers she had just arrived home from work when she was approached by a male asking for directions. As she was giving the directions, the male pointed a long, black handgun at her and demanded her car keys. After she gave him the keys, the suspect got into her 2008 black Nissan Altima bearing Florida tag 881TFF and drove off. The victim’s purse, which contained cash and credit cards, an iPhone, iPad, and laptop were in the car. The victim was not injured.
During the investigation, detectives with the Boca Raton Police Services Department learned about an armed carjacking in Delray Beach where a white Dodge Charger was stolen. Hours later, deputies from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) located the Charger along with the car from the Boca Raton carjacking at the Plantation Inn in Plantation. Surveillance video showed both cars arriving two hours after the carjacking in Delray Beach. It also showed Myronn Berry driving the car belonging to the Boca Raton victim. Most of the victim’s property was recovered, along with majority of the cash stolen. Both Berry and Alexander Boyd were arrested by BSO.
Detectives from the Boca Raton Police Services Department then went to the Broward County jail to interview Boyd. Boyd gave investigators detailed information about the night of the carjacking in Boca Raton. The red and gold color car the victim saw at the scene when she was carjacked was also recovered as a stolen vehicle by BSO in Lauderdale Lakes.
Detectives went to the Broward County jail to talk with Myronn Berry who was uncooperative and refused to speak. Based on the information laid out by detectives Berry was charged with armed carjacking.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
B-Kwik burglary suspect caught
Boca Raton, FL – On Friday, April 19 at just after 3:00 a.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to an alarm at the B-Kwik, 1921 North Federal Highway.
When officers arrived they found the front door was smashed out and the interior ransacked. As officers entered the store, they found drawers open and items strewn around. Video surveillance showed a male threw a rock through the front window at about 3:00 a.m. The suspect entered the store and searched it before taking an undetermined amount of cash and lottery tickets. The suspect left through the front door.
On Sunday, April 21 at about 11:30 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to the B-Kwik again regarding an alarm. When they arrived they found the front window shattered, the office ransacked and a small amount of cash missing. Surveillance footage showed a male who appeared to be the same suspect.
On May 5th, investigators received information that deputies at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office arrested a suspect in connection with multiple convenience store burglaries. The suspect, Vincent Moorman, was shown images captured on store security camera’s and confessed to both break-ins. Moorman also admitted to breaking into the Crown Liquor store in Boca Raton on May 1st.
Moorman, already in jail in Broward, was additionally charged with three counts of Burglary to a Structure, Grand Theft, Petit Theft and criminal mischief.
Pompano Beach, FL
Tac arrest three potential burglars
Boca Raton, FL – On Tuesday, April 30, at about 11:35 a.m., members of the Boca Raton Police Department’s Tactical Team were patrolling the area of the BP gas station, 5440 West Glades Road, when they saw a Jeep Compass drive through several different parking lots. The driver of the Jeep, later identified as John Thomas, backed into a parking space and after about 20 seconds, left and drove to the BP. After several minutes they left the BP.
As officers followed the vehicle, they observed several traffic violations and stopped the vehicle. While speaking with Thomas, and passengers Sam Webb and Jamel Hughes, officers smelled the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Officers searched all three and located a baggie of marijuana in Webb’s pants and multiple driver’s licenses and debit cards belonging to four different people in Hughes’ shoe. When officers searched the Jeep, they found a window punch and broken auto glass.
All three suspects told officers they had left Ft. Lauderdale about 10:00 a.m. and drove to Boca Raton, but had no planned destination. Webb admitted the marijuana was for personal use. Hughes said he had no idea why the driver’s licenses and debit cards were in his shoe. Officers spoke to the people whose identification they found and were told that the items were stolen during various auto burglaries that occurred in North Port, Jupiter, and Palmetto.
Officers arrested all three and charged them with loitering and prowling. Thomas was also charged with possession of burglary tools, theft and driving on a suspended license. Webb was charged with possession of marijuana. Hughes was also charged with theft and violation of probation.
John Thomas Sam Webb Jamel Hughes
DOB: 1/18/91 DOB: 2/11/92 DOB: 5/21/92
Ft. Lauderdale Ft. Lauderdale Ft. Lauderdale
Burglar caught in the act
Boca Raton, FL – On Wednesday, May 1, at about 1:00 a.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a burglary to an auto at 2390 NW 31st Street.
The resident told officers he was in the backyard when he heard his dog barking at the front window. When he went to check, he saw the dome light was on in his truck and a male standing at the door. The resident’s son also saw the dome light on in the truck and went outside to confront the male, later identified as Luc Tismeus. Tismeus took off running and the son started to chase, but his father called him off. The truck, which had been left unlocked, was ransacked, but nothing appeared to be missing.
A K9 officer arrived on scene and proceeded to track to a nearby house where Tismeus was found trying to conceal himself against a wall. Both father and son identified Tismeus as the person they saw at the truck.
When officers arrested Tismeus, they found an iPod and a baggie full of change. Officers tracked down the owner of the iPod to a nearby residence when they found a car in the driveway with the door ajar.
Officers charged Tismeus with two counts of burglary to an auto.
Delray Beach, FL
Man charged with burglarizing Talia’s Tuscan restaurant
Boca Raton, FL – On Sunday, February 10, 2013, at about 7:30 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to burglary at Talia’s Tuscan Table restaurant, 4070 North Dixie Highway. A witness saw a male exit the smashed out front door of the business, then leave in a beat up white pickup truck with front end damage. The witness described the suspect as a Hispanic male about 5’11” tall, with tattoos on both arms. Officers determined that cash was taken from the register.
Detectives investigating the crime spoke with a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s (PBSO) detective who was investigating two similar burglaries and believed their suspect was the same person. Shortly thereafter, the PBSO detective contacted the Boca Raton detective and said he had identified the suspect as William Finkle, who had been incarcerated at the Palm Beach County Jail for attempted homicide since February 13th.
Detectives spoke with one of Finkle’s family members, who identified Finkle as the person seen in the surveillance video during the burglary of Talia’s. The family member also said Finkle drove an older model Dodge pickup truck with front end damage.
Detectives charged Finkle with burglary to a business and petit theft.
Lake Worth, FL
Gym employee used victim’s keys to commit burglary
Boca Raton, FL – On Saturday, April 6 at 9:50 a.m., Boca Raton Police officers took a report of a burglary to an automobile at L.A. Fitness, 4950 Technology Way.
The victim told officers that his cell phone and money clip, which held cash, two credit cards, his driver’s license and social security card, were taken from his locked car. There were no signs of forced entry into the vehicle and the victim said he used the key fob to lock and unlock the car.
A Boca Raton detective discovered that on the same day as the burglary, a male named Vincent Merulla had been involved in a crash on Military Trail in Deerfield Beach and was found to be in possession of the burglary victim’s credit cards and social security card. The detective spoke with the Broward Sheriff’s deputy who investigated the crash and he sent the detective a picture of a cell phone found at the crash site. The detective sent the picture to the victim who identified it as his phone, noting a unique mark on the screen protector.
Detectives went to Merulla’s residence and he agreed to speak with them. At first, Merulla, an LA Fitness janitor, said he found the victim’s belongings in a bag when he was doing a perimeter search of the LA Fitness property. He then changed his story. Merulla said he watched as the victim put his keys behind the desk at the gym, retrieved them when the victim walked away and went to the parking lot. Merulla utilized the key fob to identify the car and removed the victim’s belongings. He then returned the keys to the desk. Merulla also admitted to using the credit cards.
On Monday, April 22, detectives arrested Merulla and charged him with burglary to an auto, possession of a stolen credit card and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Deerfield Beach, FL
Armed robber takes phones from AT&T store
Boca Raton, FL – On Thursday, April 18, at just before 2:30 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a robbery at the AT&T store in Regency Court, 3013 West Yamato Road.
Store employees told officers that a male entered the store through the main entrance, pointed a silver semi-automatic handgun at them, and escorted them to the rear storage area of the store. Once in the back, the male had the employees put the phones stored in the safe into a bag he brought with him. The suspect then exited the store through the back door and left in a small, black SUV. No one was injured.
The suspect is described as a black male, 25 to 30 years old, between 6’ and 6’2” tall, with a muscular build. The suspect was wearing a long sleeved grey sweatshirt, jeans and white sneakers. He had short, cropped hair and a black bandana covering his face.
If anyone has information about this crime, they are asked to call Detective Scott Hanley at (561) 338-1344 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.
Black male, 25 to 30 years old
6’ to 6’2” tall, muscular build
Wearing long sleeved grey sweatshirt
Jeans and white sneakers
Short cropped hair and a black bandana
Armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun