Anonymous tip leads Boca Raton Police to armed robbery suspect
Boca Raton, FL – At approximately 2:30pm on Wednesday, December 10th, a person walked into ECO Yogurt at 1200 West Yamato Road, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money. The clerk handed the suspect an undetermined amount of cash. Boca Raton Police officers responded within two minutes, but the suspect had already fled from the scene.
On Thursday, December 11th at approximately 8:30 am, Boca Raton Police detectives received an anonymous call from someone who saw the suspect’s image and identified him as 56 year old Wesley Holtzclaw. The caller said Holtzclaw lived in Delray Beach and drove a white Ford Taurus. A check of Holtzclaw’s name revealed that he was just released from prison and had an extensive criminal history in Florida and Georgia.
Boca Raton detectives, along other law enforcement partners, went to Delray Beach and located Holtzclaw driving the white Ford Taurus. He was stopped and arrested. Detectives found a fake plastic handgun and the gold rim sunglass he wore during the robbery in his vehicle.
Holtzclaw was charged with Armed Robbery and Grand Theft and transported to the Palm Beach County Jail.
Delray Beach, FL
Boca Raton Police kick off Holiday Safety Campaign
Boca Raton, FL – The day after Thanksgiving, traditionally known as “Black Friday,” is historically one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Starting this week, and continuing through mid-January, officers from the Boca Raton Police Services Department will step up marked and unmarked vehicle patrols, bicycle patrols, along with surveillance in retail areas throughout the City. In addition, the Boca Raton Police will kick off the “Holiday Safety, It’s not Child’s Play” campaign.
The first video addresses shoppers leaving purchases in plain sight in their vehicles. The message of the video is to encourage people to drive straight home after shopping. The second video talks about how to discard empty boxes from expensive electronics purchases. Many times they are left on the sidewalk, which is an open invitation for bad guys to break into your home. The message in the video is to cut up all boxes and place them in non-transparent garbage bags or cans. The shopping video will be featured throughout the holiday season, with trailers at Cinemark in Boca Raton. Both videos will be featured on Boca Raton City Channel 20, and Boca Raton Police Facebook and YouTube channels. BRPD personnel will also be handing out holiday postcards, featuring season specific crime prevention tips.
Armed robbery at Hooters
Boca Raton, FL – On Wednesday, October 22 at 1:38 a.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to an armed robbery at Hooters Restaurant, 2240 NW 19th Street.
Officers met with the manager, who said he was in the process of closing the business with another employee, when a male suddenly appeared. The suspect pointed a chrome semi-automatic handgun at them and told them to turn around and take their phones from their pockets. The suspect then told the employees to take him to the office, where he told the manager to empty the safe. Before the suspect left, he told the employees to count to 100 as he left the restaurant. The suspect left with an undetermined amount of cash. Neither employee was injured.
If anyone has information about this crime, please contact Detective Scott Hanley at (561) 338-1344 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.
Black male, appx. 6’1” tall
Wearing a ski mask and goggles
Grey jacket, jeans, black shoes
Police investigate stolen car, assault
Boca Raton, FL – On Thursday, October 16 at about 8:55 p.m., Boca Raton Police Officer James Clark stopped the driver of a stolen Honda on Camino Real near Federal Highway. Officer Clark approached the vehicle and began communicating with the driver. Officer Clark reported that the driver refused to comply with his commands.
While Officer Clark was in contact with the vehicle, the suspect sped away. During the encounter with the suspect, Officer Clark fired one shot, but the bullet did not strike the suspect. Officer Clark was not injured.
The suspect fled and later crashed the stolen vehicle in Deerfield Beach, where he fled on foot. Boca Raton Police officers, with the assistance of members of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, conducted an exhaustive search for the suspect without results. If anyone has information about this crime, please call Detective Scott Hanley at (561) 338-1344 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.
Light skinned black male
Medium height, stocky build
Short, dark hair and a thin mustache
Wearing white shirt, khaki shorts
Observant citizens and quick response by police net burglar
Boca Raton, FL – On October 16th at 12:00 pm, a contractor working in the area of 1334 SW 14th Street noticed a person walking out of a house, carrying two full backpacks. The contractor notified a neighbor who called police and followed the suspect down 14th street.
The first responding officer saw a person matching the description of the suspect walking in the yard of 1174 SW 12th Avenue. The suspect was told to stop, but refused and entered the residence.
Investigators contacted the homeowner who said her grandson Kendrick Bahrnes, who matched the description of the suspect, lived with her at that address and should be home. The homeowner agreed to come home and gave the officers permission to enter the house. Once inside the home, Bahrnes responded to verbal commands to come out and was arrested. Upon being questioned, Bahrnes admitted to entering the home at 1334 SW 14th Street by breaking a back window. He also admitted to stealing multiple items from the home.
Bahrnes was charged with Burglary to a Structure.
Kendrick Ford Bahrnes
14 years old
Boca Raton, FL
First graders help Boca Raton Police with Halloween Safety Tips
Boca Raton, FL – Every Halloween the Boca Raton Police Services Department offers safety tips for children and adults. This year, crime prevention Officer Cornelius Riley, teamed up with some Boca Elementary first graders and created a helpful video to remind everyone about Halloween safety. Click here for video
• Make sure children wear reflective costumes or carry flashlights/glow sticks
• Check all candy and make sure to discard homemade treats and anything that is open
• Make sure to treat-or-treat in groups, use sidewalks and watch for motorists
• Wear costumes that don’t obstruct vision. Use makeup and face paint as alternatives
• Accompany young children at all times
• Tell children to only stop at homes where the outside lights are on
• Trick-or-treat while it's still light out, if possible. If dark, choose well-lit streets
• Do not allow children to eat their treats until an adult has inspected them
Report any suspicious or criminal activity to the Boca Raton Police Department immediately by calling 561-368-6201 or 9-1-1.
Buyers and sellers urged to meet at police stations
Boca Raton, FL – Police Department’s across south Florida are responding to a trend of Craigslist transactions which are turning into robberies and thefts. The Boca Raton Police Department along with Boynton Beach Police, Delray Police and the Atlantis Police Departments have joined forces to offer our lobbies as a safe location to conduct sales.
A criminal, trying to make a quick grab, contacts the seller who is usually selling a valuable electronic item. When the two parties meet up, the “buyer” either snatches the item or takes it by force. These crimes are happening in communities all over south Florida, as well as around the country.
While many people who use Craigslist are honest and sincere in buying and selling their items, there are those who use it to facilitate their crimes. We are recommending you use a local police department lobby as a safe exchange zone to conduct your transaction. If the lobby is closed the parking lot is also available. We also suggest the following:
• Verify the lobby hours of the police department and check for any requirements.
• Tell a friend or family member where you are going and when to expect you back.
• If possible, have someone accompany you.
• Make sure you have your cell phone with you.
• Always trust your instincts.
Remember, the people you meet through Craigslist, or any on-line classified advertising site, are strangers and can pose dangers.
Pedestrian killed crossing Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL – On Friday, October 3, at about 8:05 p.m., officers of the Boca Raton Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Unit began investigating a fatality involving a pedestrian, which occurred in the 6000 block of West Glades Road.
The driver of a 2003 GMC SUV was eastbound on West Glades Road approaching the intersection of Butts Road when a pedestrian attempted to cross the roadway. The pedestrian was struck by the GMC and died at the scene. The driver of the GMC was not injured.
If anyone has information about this crash, they are asked to call Officer Brian Pare at (561) 620-6186.
2003 GMC SUV:
37 years old
Boca Raton, Fl
51 years old
Delray Beach, Fl.
Man robbed in hotel parking lot
Boca Raton, FL – On Thursday, October 2, just after 12:45 a.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a robbery that occurred in the parking lot of the Spring Hill Suites, 5130 NW 8th Avenue.
The 62 year old victim told officers he had just driven to the hotel from the airport and parked his rental car. The victim removed his suitcase and briefcase, locked the car doors and started walking to the hotel. After a few steps, the victim was surrounded by six black males. All of the suspects had bandanas covering their faces, and at least one suspect was carrying a grey, short-barreled revolver. The victim tried to run but tripped and fell. As the suspects started to search the victim’s pockets, the victim handed his belongings to them. He then stood up and ran to the hotel. The suspects got away with the victim’s wallet, which contained several credit cards and his driver’s license; they also took his iPhone 5s, suitcase and briefcase. The victim was not injured.
A short time later, a Dodge Ram was recovered on I-95 at Woolbright Road after it crashed. There was no one with the truck by the time police arrived. However, the victim’s suitcase was found next to the vehicle.
If anyone has information about this crime, please call Detective Tim Kurdys at (561) 338-1377 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.
Boca Raton Police and local partners kick off
Move Over awareness campaign
Click here for video
Boca Raton, FL – The Boca Raton Police Services Department is partnering with other local agencies and service providers to raise awareness of changes to the law commonly referred to as the Move Over Law. The law, originally written to help protect first responders on the roadways, was amended to include other public and private service providers.
The vehicles covered under the law are police, fire, EMS, tow trucks, sanitation and utility vehicles. Drivers approaching the protected vehicles must move over one full lane, leaving an empty lane between the driver and the protected vehicle. If moving over is not possible, the driver must slow to a speed 20 mph less than the posted speed limit. If the speed limit is 20 mph or less, the driver must slow to 5 mph.
The campaign includes informational cards that will be handed out to motorists to help educate them on the law changes. Also an educational video detailing the Move Over expansion will also be posted online. Click here for video
This partnership includes the Boca Raton Police Services Department, Boca Raton Fire/Rescue, Florida Highway Patrol, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, FAU Police, Boca Raton Utilities and FDOT.
For more information follow the Twitter hashtag #MoveOver or go to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bocapolice and at www.bocapolice.com
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