WEST MIAMI (CBSMiami) – West Miami Police Chief Nelson Andreu hopes it’s a development that will lead to a string of suspects who have been burglarizing cell phone stores in Miami-Dade.
Chief Andreu is releasing surveillance video of two burglars who tried to break into a T-Mobile store on SW 8th Street at 58th Avenue at 2 a.m. on the morning of Monday, May 12th.
Andreu told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench in an exclusive interview that he wants everyone to study the car that the burglars use.
“The car is a red Dodge charger. It is a late model red charger and has black stripes. It is very distinctive,” Andreu said. “We believe someone out there knows who these individuals are and can identify them or this vehicle.”
“I am told this was a Dodge Charger from the Super B edition that was made sometime between 2007 and 2009,” said Andreu.
The surveillance tape shows their car backing up to the store. Then the two burglars take a chain with a hook from their trunk and attach it to the front door. They try to pry open the door or break its handle. That attempt fails. They try again.
The tape shows that after 90 seconds at the store, the men see a West Miami Police car on routine patrol and so they flee. The tape shows the cop car in pursuit with flashing lights on.
“He just happened to be in the area,” said Andreu.
The target of burglars in many of these crimes has been high-end cell phones like Iphone5s and Samsung Galaxies. They can be sold in some countries for twice their value.
“They can grab a handful of these Iphones that go for 400 or 500 dollars,” said Andreu. “So they can make a pretty penny very quickly.”
“Because of their speed and preparation and having a hook ready to go, it looks to me like they knew what they were doing and this is not the first attempt,” said Andreu. “Had that handle not broken off, they would have been inside the store in less than 30 seconds.”
Chief Andreu said he hopes these suspects will be caught.
“This has been going on for the past couple of years,” said Andreu. “Whether it’s the same individual or a group of individuals, it’s important. These are business people struggling in the economy and to lose thousands of dollars worth of equipment is really going to hurt them,”
D’Oench was allowed access inside the T-Mobile store where he spoke with clerk Jonathan Garcia.
“I’d like these crimes to stop,” said Garcia. “Everyone I speak with feels the same way. It would be awesome to catch them. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. Once you see the car, notify the police as soon as possible. I think this is all pretty dumb. Because we keep our products in a secure place when we are closed. They are locked up.”
Earlier this week, burglars broke in to a number of cell phone stores in Miami-Dade including a T-Mobile store on Flagler Street and a Simple Mobile on Northwest 7th Street.
If you have any information about this crime, call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).