Great police work leads to arrest of robbery suspect
Boca Raton, FL – Shortly before 5:00 am Saturday morning Boca Raton Police responded to a reported unarmed robbery in the area of 1999 North Federal Highway. At the scene, officers met with the 63 year old victim who said he was sitting on the bench waiting for a bus when he was approached by a man asking for a cigarette. When the victim told him he didn’t smoke, the man asked for money. The victim told him he didn’t have any money. The man then sat down on the bench and quickly grabbed the victim’s backpack. A struggle ensued and the victim fell to the ground as the suspect took off with his backpack.
A short time later an officer found what appeared to be the stolen backpack behind 1921 North Federal Highway. Because this location is near the Boca Inn, investigators checked to see if a man matching the suspect’s description was registered as a guest. It was quickly determined that he was located at the hotel. Investigators then conducted a photo lineup at the hospital where the victim as being treated for minor injuries. He confirmed that one of the people in the lineup was the one responsible for the robbery.
Officers knocked repeatedly on the door, but neither the suspect nor his roommates would answer. Since 11:00 am is checkout time, officers waited. The suspect came out and agreed to be questioned by police. Back at the Boca Raton Police Services Department, the suspect, Christopher Harshbarger, said he remembered sitting on the bench with the victim but was too drunk at the time to remember anything else. He said he did have a backpack that didn’t belong to him but didn’t remember taking it. Harsbarger was charged with Robbery by Sudden Snatching.
Boynton Beach, FL
Robber with AK 47 tattoo arrested
Boca Raton, FL – On Wednesday, September 3 at just before 6:00 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a robbery that occurred in the 800 block of Butternut Terrace.
The victim told officers he got a phone call from a friend who asked to meet as his house on Butternut Terrace. The victim waited in his car outside the house on Butternut Terrance for his friend to arrive. As he waited with his car door open, a black Hyundai occupied by two males pulled up next to him. One male got out of the Hyundai and demanded his valuables and told the victim that he had a gun. The victim gave the suspect his cell phone and car keys. The suspect then displayed a black semi-automatic handgun while reaching into the victim’s car to grab his wallet.
The victim described the suspect as a black male, approximately 25 years old with a tattoo of an AK-47 on his left arm. The victim was not injured.
Early Thursday morning, detectives with the Delray Beach Police Department contacted Detective Clare and told him they arrested Jean Pierre on unrelated charges and he was in possession of the victim’s iPhone and credit cards. Pierre matched the description given by the victim. Boca Raton detectives conducted a photo line-up with the victim, who immediately identified Pierre as the robber. The victim also identified the AK 47 tattoo.
Boca Raton detectives charged Pierre with robbery with a deadly weapon.
Lake Worth, FL
Boca Raton Police looking to identify burglary suspects caught on camera
Click here for video
Boca Raton, FL – On Saturday, August 23, 2014, at approximately 7:30 pm, officers responded to a reported burglary at 120 SE 5th Avenue. Once on scene, officers met with the building’s security guard who explained that about 40 minutes earlier, he responded to an alarm in apartment 248. When he arrived he found the front door pried open. The residents arrived on scene a few minutes later and advised that a safe containing several pieces of jewelry was missing.
Video was obtained from both inside the apartment and the front entrance of the building. The video from inside the apartment shows two males walking in and out of the camera’s view. A few minutes later they walk toward the apartment front door and off camera. As they come back into the camera’s view, they have a hand dolly. Minutes later the two leave with the safe. Video from the front entrance shows two males walking into the building. A few minutes later a third male is seen entering the building and a short time later, exits then quickly returns with a hand dolly. All three are seen leaving the building with the safe on the hand dolly. The suspects possibly left in a green minivan.
If anyone has information about the identities of the suspects, please call Detective Harding at 561-620-6229 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS
Dark t-shirt, white shorts, dark hat, sunglasses
Hispanic male, approx. 40 years old
White shirt, dark shirts, dark hair
Hispanic male, approx. 40 years old
White shirt, tan shorts, teal hat
Boca Raton Police assist Delray Police with arrest and uncover more crimes by suspect
Boca Raton, FL – At approximately 7:30 am, Tuesday, August 26th, officers from the Boca Raton Police Services Department were dispatched to assist Delray Beach Police in apprehending a suspect who had entered our city. The suspect hit a Delray Beach Police car with his car and then fled on foot.
Within the perimeter established by officers, the suspect ran between homes and jumped in and out of a canal. He also broke into a home where he was confronted by the resident. The suspect then fled again, this time jumping into the Intracoastal Waterway where he was apprehended by a Boca Raton Police Marine Unit officer. The suspect was identified as Daniel Esteban Pinedo-Velapatino.
A search of the vehicle the suspect was driving revealed 42 Xanax pills, 3 morphine pills, 2 Oxycodone pills and $6,000 cash. While investigating this incident, other officers responded to a theft call at the Best Western Hotel on North Federal Highway. The victim explained that he and his friend were partying in the hotel room taking cocaine, Xanax and marijuana along with a third friend, later identified as Pinedo-Velapatino. The victim further explained that he had $15,000 cash in his wallet and when he woke up in the morning, $9,000 was missing and Pinedo-Velapatino was gone. While in booking on the initial charges, officers questioned Pinedo-Velapatino about the theft from the Best Western Hotel. After giving several different stories, he admitted to taking the cash from his friend. Also while in custody, detectives questioned Pinedo-Velapatino about a car theft he was suspected in from June 2014. Although he denied actually stealing the car, he did admit to driving it after knowing it was stolen.
Boca Raton Police charged Pinedo-Velapatino with Burglary to an Occupied Dwelling, Possession of Xanax, Morphine, and Oxycodone, Grand Theft over $5,000 and Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle.
Daniel Esteban Pindeo-Velapatino
Boca Raton, FL
Male tries to snatch Rolex from Mayor’s employee
click for video
Boca Raton, FL – On Saturday, August 9 at about 4:15 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to an attempted robbery at Mayor’s Jewelers, 6000 West Glades Road.
The salesperson told officers that at 4:01 p.m., two males entered the store and went to the Rolex case. The employee was showing them a Rolex President watch, when one of the males unsuccessfully tried to grab the watch from the employee’s hand. The suspects ran out of the store into the mall and fled in different directions. The employee was not injured.
Both suspects were Hispanic and only spoke Spanish during the incident. The employee described the males as well-dressed and one had tattoos on his arms.
These suspects may have been involved in a similar incident in the South Florida area. Please contact Detective Scott Hanley at (561) 338-1344 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS if you have any information about this crime.
#1 Hispanic male, in 20’s
5’8” tall, medium build
Long sleeve green shirt
#2 Hispanic male, in 20’
5’8” tall, medium build
Black t-shirt, reddish-orange pants
Black baseball cap
Combined effort leads to beer bandit bust
Boca Raton, FL – On Sunday, August 3, Boca Raton Police officers received a report of a burglary to the Biergarten, 309 Via De Palmas in Royal Palm Plaza. The manager told officers he arrived to work at about 4:00 p.m., and noticed that two of the outside coolers were open. When the manager inspected the coolers, he saw the locks were broken. He checked the video and saw that at about 4:15 a.m., a male entered the bar area, forced the cooler doors open and removed two six packs of beer. The suspect repeated the action several more times, possibly handing the beer off to another suspect.
The next day, the case was assigned to a Boca Raton detective. On August 11, a crime bulletin with the suspect’s picture was distributed and several officers recognized the suspect as Billy Palmieri. Later that day, a Community Policing Unit officer made contact with Palmieri at Rutherford Park. Detectives responded and spoke with Palmieri, who, after seeing his image on a bulletin, admitted that he was the person pictured and that it was taken while he was stealing beer.
Detectives arrested Palmieri for burglary to a business.
Repeat offender arrested for punching man, stealing backpack
Boca Raton, FL – On Sunday, August 3, just after midnight, Boca Raton Police officers responded to a report of a robbery at Sanborn Square, 72 North Federal Highway.
Darren Pietri met officers in the parking lot of the police department and told them he left his backpack with Trevor Clark at Sanborn Square while he made a quick trip to the Seven-11. When he returned he had to search for Clark and when he found him, Clark emptied the backpack then punched him in the head. Pietri had no injuries.
As officers continued the investigation, they located Clark at Boca Raton Regional Hospital where he was receiving treatment for a possible broken nose. Clark refuted Pietri’s version of events and told officers he had been sleeping in Sanborn Square, using his backpack as a pillow, when Pietri approached him and accused him of stealing the backpack. Pietri snatched the backpack and began punching him in the face, then walked away.
Officers arrested Pietri and charged him with aggravated battery and robbery. Boca Raton Police officers previously arrested Pietri in February for domestic battery and on April 30 for two separate incidents in which he stole a bicycle.
Boca Raton Police arrest Craigslist scammer
Boca Raton, FL – Detectives from the Boca Raton Police Services Department began their investigation after receiving calls from people who claimed they had agreed to rent a house and provided a security deposit, only to be told the house was no longer available.
The investigation revealed that Daniel Fournier was renting a room from an 81 year old resident on West Camino Real. While living in the house, Fournier listed the residence as available for rent on Craigslist. Over a two month period, Fournier entered into fictitious rental agreements, including security deposits, with four different people. He told the renters that the owner of the house was his aunt and that the home would not be available until his aunt was placed into assisted living.
Fournier also had the 81 year old owner of the home unknowingly sign the fictitious lease agreements. Further research of Fournier revealed that he facilitated similar scams in three different cities in Massachusetts. When interviewed by Boca Raton detectives, Fournier admitted to creating the ad on Craigslist, and admitted to taking the deposits while knowing the house was not for rent.
Fournier was charged with four counts of Organized Scheme to Defraud/Grand Theft. If anyone has additional information about this scam, please contact Detective Jeffrey Simons at 561-338-1255
Boca Raton, FL
Two men attempt to rob victim of cell phone
Boca Raton, FL – On Sunday, July 27, at about 11:40 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a report of an attempted robbery that occurred in the area of 2000 North Federal Highway.
Arriving officers met with the victim, who said he was riding north on his bicycle on the west sidewalk near 1400 North Federal Highway, when he entered the Bank United parking lot in an effort to avoid the sprinklers. Once in the parking lot, he was approached by two suspects, one of whom asked to use his cell phone. When he told them no, they began to chase him. The victim jumped off his bike and entered the grass median at about 2000 North Federal Highway in an effort to elude the suspects. One suspect tried to grab the victim’s phone then punched him in the face as they struggled. The suspects ran off towards the rear of the Boca Inn, without the phone.
The victim sustained minor injuries, but refused medical treatment. If anyone has information about this crime, they are asked to call Detective Tim Kurdys at (561) 338-1377 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.
#1 Black male, 18 to 20 years old #2 Black male, 18-20 yrs old
Appx. 5’8” tall, thin build Thin build, short black hair
Shoulder length dread locks Wearing black t-shirt & jeans
Wearing a red t-shirt, jean shorts
Man falsely reports bomb
Thought inappropriate comment was funny
Boca Raton, FL – On Sunday, July 27, at about 10:30 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers received a report that a subject had just made a bomb threat at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real.
Officers who were working a security detail at the John Legend concert were told by a private security guard that a male, later identified as Matthew Klotz made a bomb threat. The security guard said Klotz asked him which bus Legend was on and when the guard said he didn’t know, Klotz replied, “That’s okay, I put a bomb on all the buses.”
Officers spoke with Klotz who said he told the security guard that he put bombs under the tour buses because he thought it was funny. He told officers he realized it was a serious matter, but at the time, he thought it was a joke and the security guard would also find it funny.
As a result of Klotz’s statements, approximately 100 employees from Boca Raton Facilities, Live Nation, and various stage crew and vendors were disrupted from performing their duties for about an hour as the Boca Raton Bomb Squad conducted their search of the area. Officers charged Klotz with false report of a bomb/explosive and disorderly conduct.
Boca Raton, FL
Driver arrested in fatal bicyclist crash
Boca Raton, FL – On Sunday, April 6 at 10:04 a.m., officers of the Boca Raton Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Unit responded to a crash, which occurred in the 600 block of West Yamato Road between a Ford F-150 pickup and a bicyclist.
The investigation revealed that the operator of the Ford F-150 pickup, Bianca Fichtel, drifted from the lane of travel while driving west on Yamato Road and hit bicyclist George Morreale, who was in the designated bike lane.
According to witnesses, after hitting Morreale, Fichtel continued driving west on Yamato, turning north on Congress before making a U-turn and heading back to the scene of the crash. Blood tests revealed that Fichtel had various different drugs in her system at the time of the crash.
Traffic Homicide Investigators have charged Bianca Fichtel with DUI Manslaughter and Failure to Drive in a Single Lane. Fichtel turned herself into the Boca Raton Police Services Department at 8:00 pm on Friday, July 25, 2014.
Boca Raton, FL
66 years old
Boca Raton, FL
Man killed in motorcycle crash
Boca Raton, FL – On Monday, July 21 at 7:48 p.m., officers of the Boca Raton Police Services Department’s Traffic Homicide Unit responded to a fatality crash which occurred in the 21000 block of St. Andrews Boulevard.
A silver 2008 Yamaha motorcycle was traveling south on St. Andrews Boulevard when a silver 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee entered St. Andrews Boulevard from Town Place Club Villas. The Yamaha motorcycle impacted the driver side rear of the Jeep.
The operator of the Yamaha was transported to the Delray Medical Center where he died at 10:26 p.m. The occupants of the Jeep were not injured.
If anyone has information regarding the crash, please contact Traffic Homicide Investigator Mike Daly at (561) 620-6081.
Driver: Robin Nicole Lynch
20 years old
Passenger: David Young
53 years old
Boca Raton, FL
Operator: Raphael Caixeta
23 years old
Boca Raton, FL
Man charged with animal cruelty after shooting dog
Boca Raton, FL – On May 7, 2014 Boca Raton Police Officers responded to an animal complaint at 901 NE 2nd Terrance. Officers met with Patrick Barry who lives next door. Barry told officers he was walking his American Bulldog when his neighbor’s pit bull, Alize, charged them. Barry told officers he was in fear so he pulled out the .38 revolver he was carrying and shot the dog. Barry has a valid Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit. The owner of the pit bull, Jennifer Burga, was in the house and did not see what happened.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control (PBACC) officers responded and spoke with Barry and Burga. PBACC examined Alize and saw she was shot on the underside of the tail near the dog’s body. Burga brought Alize to a veterinarian for treatment.
Boca Raton Police detectives made contact with several witnesses who saw Barry walk alone from his home to Burga’s home and shoot Alize as she was lying down in Burga’s yard. Both witnesses said Barry did not have his dog with him and Alize never made any aggressive movements towards him. Neither saw a gun, but heard the gunshot.
Detectives contacted the veterinarian who treated Alize. The vet said Alize was shot on the underside of the tail, and she believed the dog was shot while it was lying down or walking away. Detectives spoke with Barry on the phone but he refused to meet in person.
Based on the findings of the investigation, detectives charged Barry with felony cruelty to animals, filing a false report of a crime, and discharging a firearm in public. Barry was arrested on July 8 without incident.
Patrick J. Barry
Boca Raton, FL
Purse snatcher arrested after chase
Quick thinking witness snaps a pic
Boca Raton, FL – On Thursday, June 27 at about 7:30 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a robbery that occurred at K-Mart, 1401 West Palmetto Park Road. The victim told officers she was walking to her car and was just about to open the car door when she felt a tug on her purse. She turned her head and saw a male trying to pull her purse away from her. After a brief struggle, the suspect pushed the victim to the ground and ran off with her purse. The victim was treated for bruises and scratches at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
A witness who heard the victim yelling for help saw the suspect run to and get in a black Monte Carlo. The witness took a picture of the car and showed it to officers. A description of the suspect and car were given to other officers. A short time later, an officer and a sergeant saw the car heading north on I-95. Officers attempted to stop the driver of the car, but he continued to head north. After a brief chase the suspect crashed the car as he attempted to exit onto Linton Boulevard. With the assistance of Delray Beach Police, the suspect, identified as Keith Robinson, was arrested.
Detectives spoke with Robinson who said he stopped to get gas on Congress and was never near the K-Mart. Robinson said he fled from police because he had illegal drugs (two pills) in the car, which he consumed before arrest. The victim identified Robinson as the person who took her purse. Subsequent to the arrest the victim’s credit car was found in Robinson’s pocket.
Detectives charged Robinson with robbery and fleeing and eluding.
Keith T. Robinson
New and old techniques crack burglary cases
Boca Raton, FL – A rash of burglaries to work vans throughout Boca Raton came to an end with the arrest of the culprit. Since the beginning of May more than a half dozen vans from various businesses were broken into, with thousands of dollars of tools stolen. In some of the burglaries, video surveillance showed an older model red minivan leaving the scene.
During the investigation, Boca Raton detectives learned of a similar burglary to a work van in Delray Beach, where their investigators identified Larry Burdgick II from a fingerprint left at the scene of their crime. Burdgick also drives a red minivan. Having difficulty locating Burdgick, Boca Raton detectives turned to social media and identified Chante Maglia, who lives in Miami, as a girlfriend of Burdgick. When investigators went to Maglia’s address, they found Burdgick who admitted to the burglaries.
While being interviewed Burdgick agreed to show detectives all the places in Boca Raton where he broke into the vans. He said he stole the power tools and immediately sold them on the street in Miami to support his crack cocaine habit.
Burdgick was charged with seven counts of Burglary and six counts of Grand Theft.
Larry Burdgick, II
Boca Raton, FL
Prevent Pool Drownings, Video provides safety tips
Swimming Pool Safety Video
Every year we hear about children who have drowned in a pools and this year is no exception. With school ending, the sight of a refreshing pool is an invitation for small children. Unfortunately, without proper safety measures in place it can also lead to tragedy. Watch the following video and take the steps necessary to secure your pool.
Boca Raton Police urge everyone to remove valuables from cars
Boca Raton, FL – Memorial Day weekend traditionally means more people than usual will be visiting the local beaches, parks and cemeteries as the unofficial start to the summer season begins. Unfortunately these activities also bring out criminals looking for a quick grab.
Many of the auto burglaries reported in the city involve cars that were left unlocked. Wallets, smart phones, computers, purses and even firearms are often left in plain view. Many think that putting items on the floorboard of their cars or in the center consoles is safe, but burglars will watch people trying to hide items and wait for the victims to leave before breaking in.
In particular if you are visiting local cemeteries this Memorial Day weekend, make sure to Remove it, Lock it or Lose it.
Let’s make this holiday weekend a safe one!
Boca Raton Police arrest two in stolen car spree
Boca Raton, FL – Detectives from the Boca Raton Police Services Department arrested two men for Grand Theft after a night of stealing cars, one of which they crashed. It started in the early morning hours of May 10, 2014. Boca Raton Police and Fire responded to Verde Trail South to investigate a report that a car crashed into a transformer. The occupants of the crashed Infinity fled from the area before police arrived and the car was listed as stolen.
Later that morning officers, took reports of two additional stolen cars from the city, a 2004 Nissan Maxima and a 2014 BMW. Miami Beach Police spotted the BMW on Collins Avenue with the driver still inside. The driver, Brandon Bayer, was arrested. Bayer admitted to police that he stole the car and also said he and a friend stole the Nissan Maxima from the City of Boca Raton as well. He identified his friend as Robert Lovin. Investigators went to Lovin’s listed address, his mother’s house, and spoke with his mother briefly and left.
A short time later, investigators received a call from PBSO deputies that the stolen Maxima was located in front the mother’s house. When questioned, Lovin initially told detectives the car was borrowed from his boss, but later admitted his friend Bayer stole the car. After repeated questioning, Lovin admitted Bayer and he stole all three vehicles. He said they bought crack and smoked it in the Infinity before crashing it into the transformer.
Lovin was charged with two counts of Grand Theft Auto. Bayer, remains in custody in Miami-Dade on a probation violation.
Robert Lovin Brandon Bayer
DOB: 3/21/89 DOB: 4/7/95
Boca Raton, FL Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton, FL – On Friday, May 2 at shortly after 9:00 a.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a suspicious incident at 799 SW 12th Avenue.
The caller, a neighbor, reported seeing a black vehicle drop off a male at this location. As the suspect walked to the rear of the home through a gate, the vehicle left the area. Officers checked the home and found that a rear slider was open. As officers waited for the K-9 team to respond, the suspect opened the front door and saw an officer then retreated into the home. The suspect, identified as Roderick Kendricks, then left the home through the open rear slider and was taken into custody. When officers checked the home they discovered the rear slider was pried open.
The caller identified Kendricks as the male he saw enter the backyard. When officers searched Kendricks, they found a Canon camera and several blank checks in his pocket, both belonging to the homeowner. Kendricks told officers how he committed the crime.
Officers checking the area for the suspect’s car located it at 600 West Camino Real. The driver of the vehicle, Vincent Johnson, had a suspended driver’s license and was identified by the witness as the driver of the suspect car, which the witness also identified. Officers arrested Johnson.
Officers charged Kendricks and Johnson with burglary, grand theft, and criminal mischief.
RoderickKendricks Vincent Johnson
DOB 01/22/1975 DOB 12/01/1985
Boynton Beach, FL Deerfield Beach, FL
(Photo courtesy of PBSO)
Officers quick response leads to robber's arrest
Boca Raton, FL – On Wednesday, April 30, at about 2:40 p.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a report of a robbery at 640 West Yamato Road.
The victim, Filiberto Cruz, told officers he was in the plaza looking for gainful employment when he was approached by a male asking for money. Cruz said the suspect, later identified as Sylister Jones, brandished a box cutter type knife and motioned to him to come closer. Cruz ran to a nearby restaurant without giving Jones any money.
Detectives located Jones behind Rotelli’s Restaurant. Jones told officers he walked to the Tri-Rail from school and needed money for the train. Jones changed his version of story several times.
Cruz identified Jones as the suspect who tried to rob him. Officers arrested Jones and charged him with attempted robbery.
Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton Police launch home burglary prevention campaign
Click here to view video
Boca Raton, FL – From 2012 to 2013, the City of Boca Raton saw a 4.35% drop in residential burglaries, going from 404 in 2012 to 351 in 2013. Those that do find their homes burglaries are discovering defeated doors and windows and their valuables gone. In recognition of Residential Burglary Prevention Month, the Boca Raton Police Services Department will be launching a multifaceted campaign to educate residents with steps they can take to avoid becoming a victim.
Two videos have been created to help better explain to residents what they can do to prevent residential burglaries. The first plays off a common theme seen in many home burglaries. A suspect knocks on the door, if no one answers they go around back and break in. The second takes a humorous look at things that shouldn’t be left open. It ends with reminding everyone to never leave their garage door open while unattended.
The Boca Raton Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit also provides tips for protecting your house. You can find them at http://www.ci.boca-raton.fl.us/police/home_security.shtm The Crime Prevention Unit will also do free assessments of your property and provide you with tips to increase security around your home. You can call 561-347-3938 for a free property assessment.
1st Annual Pet Safety Awareness & Fun Day
Boca Raton, FL – On Saturday, May 3rd, the Crime Prevention Unit of the Boca Raton Police Services Department will hold the 1st Annual Pet Safety Awareness & Fun Day at Mizner Bark from 9:00 am until Noon.
The event will promote pet heatstroke awareness and auto burglary prevention. During the event dog owners will be able to run their dog through a “lure course.” There will also be a pet costume contest and pet look-alike contest. Giveaways will include doggy waste bag dispensers and “Too Hot for Spot” car window decals for the first 100 pet owners. The decals are window thermometers showing you when the vehicle is too hot for animals (or people) to be left unattended. There will also be a vehicle demonstration showing how quickly the interior of a car becomes fatally hot.
Local stores will provide free pet treats, along with discounts and coupons. Tri-County Animal Rescue, formerly Tri-County Humane Society, will also do on-site adoptions. Admission to Mizner Bark is free during the event.