PLANTATION(CBS4) – A Broward burglar who ransacked a car dealership is busted after Plantation Police say he made two huge mistakes.
Detectives say he accidentally left his identification card at the crime scene and later posted a photo of himself on FACEBOOK, crouching down with a stolen car key hanging from his mouth.
The burglary of Arion Motors at 550 South State Road 7 happened just before 11 p.m. on March 10th and it was all caught on surveillance tape because of a new $15,000 surveillance system that had been installed two days earlier.
The surveillance tape shows the ID card falling out of the burglar’s pocket as he pulls out his cell phone to shine a light on the dark room. It happens seconds after he is seen entering the car dealership through a broken window.
“It’s actually funny, to lose your driver’s license like that and then to show what you have done on Facebook,” said Jonathan Shamis, the manager of Arion Motors.
Shamis told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “In my mind this fits the category of the world’s dumbest criminals. It does not get any dumber than this.”
“We invested $15,000 in a surveillance system and we are proud of it,” said Shamis. “We did it to protect our business.”
Plantation police say they arrested 21-year-old Travis Devonte Rice. They discovered that he was on probation after a conviction for armed robbery and had just been released from prison in February.
Rice is being held without bond and faces charges including grand theft, probation violation and a burglary causing more than $1,000 in damages.
Shamis told D’Oench that the burglars stole files, license plates, 44 car keys and four cars including a BMW, a Cadillac, an Infiniti and a Dodge worth $44,000.
The cars have not been recovered. And Plantation police are searching for the other suspect captured on the surveillance tape.
“We do have insurance but this whole situation has been stressful,” said Shamis. “It slowed us down 24 hours. And overall I am a little upset that this happened. We tried to do good for the community. We take care of cars and people.”
“We work here 7 days a week and even when we are not here we are helping people with other things,” he said.
Arion Motors has an alarm system but it was not working so Plantation Police did not respond when the dealership was broken into.
“Thank God we have a $15,000 surveillance system,” said Shamis. “We do have insurance and this system was installed to protect our business. We have been here for four months.”
“We are upset with these people,” he said. “But these are young people and we forgive them. I hope it won’t happen again. If anyone out there knows anything that can help us and find that second person who is missing, that would be wonderful.”
“I hope this never happens again,” he said. “But that’s just how things go in business. We are not going to let this stop us. We are moving on. That is for sure.”
Anyone who can help Plantation Police with this case is urged to call Broward Crimestoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).
“Maybe there were four people who did this,” said Shamis. “They took four of our cars.”