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Alleged Burglar In Fishy Miami Break-In Faces Judge

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Angel Conde  (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Angel Conde (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

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MIAMI – (CBSMiami) – Surveillance cameras and a bumbling bandit’s not-so-bright plan led police to arrest a 36-year-old lobster fisherman suspected of breaking into a popular Miami seafood restaurant and taking off with $400.

Angel Conde, of Miami, didn’t get very far. Police caught up with the suspect a short time after surveillance cameras captured him “prying open a cash register with a screw driver and taking seafood products from the business,” according to the police report.

Conde’s demeanor was more subdued as he appeared before a bond court judge Monday who ordered him held on $25,000 bond. He’s charged with burglary, grand theft and vandalism.

The fishy plan unfolded early Sunday at the Casablanca Fish Market, 404 NW N. River Drive and was captured by cameras that track him from the time he allegedly broke into the roof until he allegedly fled with the cash and seafood.  

The bandit waited until everyone had left the market on the Miami river.

The manager of the market said the man apparently climbed up on the roof and used a stairway down into an enclosed entrance which was under the watchful eye of a security camera.

Conde apparently knew the camera was there, or suspected it, because he tried to hide his face as he broke in.

But that’s where his criminal tradecraft ran out.

There are two things you should know about the Casablanca market. Fans say they have good fish, and there are security cameras everywhere to keep an eye on it.

The bandit apparently knew about the fish, but not the cameras, because once inside he stopped hiding his face and went to town. First, he went to a cooler to steal fish. The camera caught every grab, with a great shot of his face, in the light from the cooler.

“That was a dumb move. Everything he did was a mistake,” said Juan Gomez, manager of the fish market, who has more video of the man now than he can use.

Next, the man moved to the cash register. As another camera rolled, he tried to pry open the cash drawer. No dice. He smashed the register on the floor. No luck. So, under the watchful; gaze of yet another camera, he took the cash register into a workroom where he was finally able to get the money out.

Police say he damaged the cash register, which is worth $5,000.

From start to finish, his TV performance is unlikely to win an Emmy, but it’s likely to be the star when he has his day in court.

“It was unbelievable what this guy do,” said an amazed Gomez.

The burglar was caught a nearby marina when he was recognized, early Sunday morning. When police caught up with him, they found that he had “a register key that belongs to the Casablanca Fish Market.”

Police say he confessed to his involvement.

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Despite the yeoman’s job done by the security system at the store, Gomez said the break-in will cause security to be beefed up, and that means even more cameras.

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