KEY WEST – (CBS4) – In recent months, some visitors who would park in one of the many lots at the seven-mile bridge in the Florida Keys have returned only to find their car has been broken into and their belongings – everything from purses to cameras — swiped.
Now, authorities say they have nabbed a suspected car thief – 68-year-old Omar Rodriguez-Ortiz.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office say they caught him in the act at about noon on Saturday. A surveillance team watched as Rodriguez pulled into a lot pretending to take pictures. Instead, authorities say, he struck soon after a couple left their car and walked onto the bridge. Rodriguez pulled into the parking spot on the passenger side of the couple’s vehicle, broke the passenger side window and swiped a purse from the seat, authorities said.
Detectives immediately stopped and detained him. They were able to recover the purse along with spark plugs, which had been cut in half. Authorities say those spark plugs indicate he may have used them to break car windows.
Rodriguez has been charged with burglary, criminal mischief , possession of burglary tools, and theft. His 1998 Volvo was seized and could potentially be forfeited.
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