SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) – Four suspected school burglars are in custody after a quick and massive response by Miami-Dade Police and Miami-Dade Schools Police and the young criminals are captured on surveillance tape.

The surveillance tape obtained by CBS4 shows three of the suspects walking casually around John Ferguson Sr. High School at 15900 S.W. 56th St. just after midnight on Monday.

Police recovered two trays with French toast, a Dell computer and an iPod headset. They said their intervention prevented more items from being taken.

Their presence set off a silent burglar alarm and both police agencies responded with some 20 officers and a K-9 unit. They even used night-vision goggles to find the suspects, said Schools Police Chief Charles Hurley. And police even intercepted a text message that helped track down the young men.

“One of the suspects got outside the perimeter and sent a text message to the two others we had in custody,” said Hurley. “Of course we had the phone and responded asking them where they were. And then we closed in on them.”

Those arrested include Edel Garcia, 21, Jonathan Alexander Swadener, 18, Steven Fabian Gonzalez, 20, and Omar Antonio Jiminez, 20. They had attended another high school and it’s not known why they targeted the Ferguson school.

They are charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure, theft over $300 and resisting officers without violence.

“We have very limited resources and restrictions on funding,” said Ferguson math teacher Hector Lopez. He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that “We need all the equipment that we have. I am glad they we got them.”

“I think it’s a good thing curbing this crime,” said fellow Ferguson teacher Diane Augustus. “They are stealing from the school and it’s like stealing from your brother and sister that go to the school.”

“The response was nothing short of phenomenal,” said Hurley. “In particular I want to thank Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus and the Hammocks district for their support.”

“We have all seen the results of the economy and the funding is not there,” said Hurley. “If we lose items because schools are ransacked, there’s a price to it. You open up a refrigerator and steal some items like the French toast we found taken today on 2 trays and you run the risk of spoiling a huge supply of food. You steal a computer and they often can’t be replaced.”

Hurley said Schools Police respond to 12,000 alarms a year or 1,000 a month.

“You have to take these alarms seriously,” said Schools Police Sgt. Ivan Silva. “You never know what can happen and we have to be there and remain vigilant.  The message is that we will remain vigilant and be out there on patrol.”

Hurley told D’Oench that overall crime at Miami-Dade schools is down 9 per cent since last school year. Burglaries are down 14 per cent.

“We have really picked up the pace,” said Hurley. “And not only is the crime rate down, but the apprehension rate of criminals is up.”

Comments (6)
  1. MiamiMex says:

    Please don’t make the taxpayers pay for their prosecution and jailtime.

    They should pay for it themselves.


  2. Annie says:

    Police are idiots. Those weren’t the right kids. Idiots. They’ll hopefully get off soon when you idiots realize it wasn’t them unless you let their previous records bias everyone.

    Now I know how incorrect CBS is. You also got one of their ages wrong.

    1. MiamiMex says:

      Yes, they were simply breaking in to study!

  3. x says:

    b.s theft ? i think not i know these guys peronally. you know who they really arrested ? free runners ! these guys free run all the dam time going to school climbing great hights and high archtitures the media is one big liar y dont u put up things like how currupeted are govemrnet is huh ? no y cause you use this b.s to cover n blind side people .. put what really matters !!!

  4. Mike says:

    they werent stealing anything. i personally know the four that got caught,there were acctually six in total for the record guys, just two dident get caught in the mass BS :). steven, adel, and john wouldn’t steal anything from a school, even they have common sense. but omar is kind of stupid so i dont know. the real story is that these guys dedicate themselves to free run. if you dont know what free running is i suggest you google it. what they do is go to unocupied places like schools and construction sites to climb and explore with no intention of stealing. i know they have done this to like 5 schools already including varela. the reason they did Ferguson is because they havent “explored” it yet. free running is a sport and its a very good one at that. all these guys do all day is hang out at taco bell in the day, but sometimes at night, they ask me hey _____, you want to go climb Oliver Hoover? This was totally unjust and i know how this text message interception really is, the police threaten you with charges like tresspassing, burglury, risisting arrest without violence, and so on if you dont turn in whoever else was with you, then the promise you to drop the charges if you give them the names of the people you were with and point them in the contact list of your phone. they make it sound so awsome by saying interception but what they really did was lie to you threatten you, take your phone and then arrest you.
    tBottom line is that the only thing they SHOULD have been charged with is TRESSPASSING.

  5. Megan Marino says:

    Im Jonathan’s Ex Girlfriend && I Just Spokkee To Him Yesterdayy For Thee First Timee Sincee He Got Out Of Jail . He Told Me With All Sincerityy That He Didnt Steal Anyything && I Believe Him, I Alwayys Havee ! Mike Up There Is Right, Tresspassing Is Thee Onlyy Thing Theyy Should Havee Been Charged With, Cops Aree Retarded Now In Dayys, Theyy Need To Straighten Up Or Go Through Somee Moree Training !

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Miami

What Are People Talking About?
Weather Forecast 24/7Check for current temps and what to expect throughout the day

Watch & Listen LIVE