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Distraction theft suspect charged

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Boca Raton, FL – A Michigan man wanted in connection with a distraction theft that occurred in May 2009 was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Shreveport, Louisiana.  Rick Bob John, 36, from Garden City, Michigan, was arrested and charged in connection with the incident that happened at 2121 North Ocean Blvd.  John was identified after his image from Publix surveillance video was circulated by Boca Raton Police detectives to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.  The break came when Jon Grow, Executive Director of the National Association of Bunco Investigators emailed detectives that the suspect seen in the video resembles John. 

 Background:

The victim, 76 year old Gloria Weber told Boca Raton Police that she was approached by the suspect in Publix and made small talk with him.  She told officers she believed the suspect followed her from the Publix Store at 1001 S. Federal Highway, where she had been shopping with her husband. The victim said she had a brief conversation with a heavy-set Hispanic male in the deli section of the store. The victim described the male as in his forties, dark hair and mustache, and wearing a short-sleeved white dress shirt and khaki pants. The Publix surveillance video shows that this subject appears to have targeted the victim.  

After leaving Publix, the victim's husband then dropped her off in the parking garage of Boca Towers and he left to run another errand. When the victim got into the elevator to head to her unit, she noticed two males already on it. The victim chatted with one of the suspects, who she described as a white male around forty, wearing a long-sleeved white dress shirt, dark tie, dark pants, with a tan complexion, short, curly hair, and glasses and carrying a notepad. The suspect, after learning the victim lived on the 10th floor, said he was from the Boca Raton Water Department and he was checking the water pressure on the 10th floor.  

The victim let the suspects into the apartment. One suspect “accidentally” sprayed a yellow-colored liquid on her hands and face, and then he immediately told her to remove her jewelry and wash her hands because the liquid was an acid and would burn her. The suspect assisted the victim in removing her jewelry, and when she asked him where he had put the items, both suspects ran from the apartment. The jewelry was valued at over $62,000. 

Boca Raton Detectives charged John with Home Invasion Robbery, Grand Theft and Organized Scheme to Defraud.