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Key Biscayne Chief Warns Residents About “Hoppers”

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South Florida Crime

KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) – Police are looking for a group of young criminals who they believe hop from one neighborhood to another, stealing valuables from unlocked cars.

“They’re called hoppers. They hop from one neighborhood to another affluent neighborhood,” said Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press.

The hoppers, captured on surveillance, appear to be very young. One young suspect appears to be carrying a gun, police said.

“It’s electronic equipment and sometimes, God forbid, a weapon in that car—it could create a disaster,” said the Chief.

Police said the young people in the video are suspected of stealing a car in Miami, driving it to Key Biscayne where they then stole another car and then headed to Coral Gables where a police pulled them over and the kids took off running. One of the suspects was arrested.

“An inventory of that car showed that the car was stolen on Key Biscayne and it did have a cache of stolen items within that car,” said the Chief.

The hoppers, according to police, are suspected in recent car burglaries and thefts in South Miami, Coral Gables, the City of Miami and now Key Biscayne.

“Obviously somebody’s 11-year-old kid, or what appears to be an extremely young kid, was out there at midnight rifling through cars and hanging out with a person who was older, but not that much older, brandishing a weapon. It’s a sad commentary on our kids,” said the Chief.

Police said some parent or adult out there will possibly recognize the two young people captured on surveillance. Police are especially concerned because these young kids were seen with a gun and appear to have no fear.

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