Several Cell Phone Stores Targeted By Thieves
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South Florida Crime
PLANTATION (CBSMiami) – A robber thought he made the perfect score when he targeted a Plantation MetroPCS store early Friday morning. What he didn’t know was the owner of the store was watching the entire robbery from his home on a remote surveillance system.
The alleged robber, Jonthan Settle, 50, allegedly tried to break through the ceiling of the store and tried two unsuccessful attempts to break through the wall before finally gaining entrance into the store.
“I saw him crawling around on the floor from the back to the front,” said store owner Jorge Molina. “He was prepared. He had a tool box like a backpack. The guy obviously does this for a living.”
Plantation Police captured Settle near the store. Police said they also found the tools he allegedly used to break into the store.
“He ripped out the alarm panel, took a laptop, but they were recovered out front,” Molina said.
Plantation Police are checking to see if Settle could be connected to other recent cell phone store robberies including ones in Fort Lauderdale where surveillance captured thieves tunneling through a wall.
In the Fort Lauderdale robberies, thieves took hundreds of boxes from two Best Buy Mobile stores. In Miramar this week, two men robbed a Metro PCS store. Molina said he has an idea where the stolen cell phones may be going.
“You go to the pawn shop you see them; you see them on eBay; even if they go on the black list, you can still use them overseas,” Molina said.
Meanwhile Pembroke Pines Police say they caught the man who held up a TMOBILE store on Pines Boulevard Friday morning just before 11 am.
Police say he walked into the store and used bolt cutters to take a half dozen phones from the display counter.
Employees got a description of his getaway car and police followed him to Miami Gardens where he was taken into custody.
He’s identified as 26-year-old Dermar Hamilton. Hamilton was booked into the Broward County jail on robbery charges.
Police are seeing if he’s connected to any other area cell phone robberies.