Team effort yields arrests of two auto burglars
Boca Raton, FL On Wednesday, November 17, officers with the Boca Raton Police Services Department's Tactical Team were on an auto burglary surveillance detail at Gumbo Limbo Park, 1801 North Ocean Boulevard, in response to several recent auto burglaries.
Officers observed a green Pontiac Grand Am, occupied by two Hispanic males, enter the parking lot and park. Both occupants, later identified as Richard Morales Aponte and Jose Lugo, opened their doors, but only Lugo exited the vehicle. Lugo walked across the parking lot to a black Infiniti and crouched behind it, out of sight of the officer. Within seconds, Lugo emerged from behind the Infiniti carrying a black purse. As Lugo ran back to the Pontiac, officers moved in. Lugo quickly jumped in the car and Morales Aponte took evasive action by driving across the grass, around a fence and onto Ocean Boulevard. Morales drove north for several blocks before pulling into a nearby condominium. A witness saw Lugo and Morales Aponte run from the vehicle into the mangroves near the Intracoastal Waterway.
Officers in Gumbo Limbo confirmed that the Infiniti had been broken into and the victim's purse was taken. The purse was recovered a short distance away in the parking lot. A perimeter was set up, including officers from Patrol, the Marine Unit, K9 unit, detectives and other staff members. Deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit provided eyes in the sky. Morales Aponte was seen swimming in the Intracoastal and was taken into custody by the Marine Unit. Lugo was located hiding in the trees and was apprehended by a K9 team. Lugo was treated and released from Boca Raton Regional Hospital for injuries he sustained during the K9 apprehension.
Lugo and Morales Aponte are both charged with burglary, vandalism, resisting arrest without violence, possession of burglary tools, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Lugo is also charged with grand theft and Morales Aponte is additionally charged with several traffic offenses.
Jose Lugo Richard Morales Aponte
DOB 09/18/1979 DOB 12/05/1984
W Palm Beach, FL Wellington, FL
(photo courtesy of PBSO)