FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Ft. Lauderdale police have a teenager in custody they say committed three serious felonies within a week on West Broward Boulevard.
Two of the attacks were captured on surveillance video.
In one instance, the 17 year old assailant is seen on his bicycle circling a car parked at a convenience store. In a flash, he reached into the driver’s side window of the car and stole a purse.
In another frame of video, one of two kids in the car jump out and race into the store where his mother has gone.
“The suspect is so bold as to do this while two small children are in the car, to steal a purse and then take off,” explained Det. Travis Mandell of the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department.
Just days later, police say the same teen, who is not being identified, is seen on surveillance video in the parking lot of the Christ Deliverance Church on West Broward Boulevard talking to a mechanic working on a church van.
He lingered for more than 20 minutes before reaching for the mechanic’s neck and stealing a gold chain.
The mechanic tried to run after the robber but is unable to catch him.
Police say the same man also snatched a gold chain from the neck of an elderly woman while she was walking out of a CVS pharmacy.
“What they’re doing is taking these gold chains to stores where they are getting a little money for a one or two thousand dollar gold chain. The gold shop melts them down and we lose our evidence,” said Det. Mandell.
But acting on tips from the surveillance, police were able to track the thieving teen and identify him through photo lineups.
Police say he is in juvenile detention and facing three felony counts for strong arm robbery and burglary.
“The 17 year old has no regard for human life. He’s willing to attack and elderly man and woman and even attack while two small children are sitting in a vehicle,” said Det. Mandell. “What more can you say?”