Teen Charged In Smash & Grab, PD Investigate Connection To Others
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South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Hialeah Police believe they may have caught a break in their investigation into a string of smash and grab burglaries.
On Wednesday they arrested 16-year-old Cristian Gonzalez and charged him with one burglary. Now they are trying to determine if he was responsible for five others.
“They’re the same M.O. we know the same people did it but five of those cases remain open and we want to close all six of these cases,” said Hialeah Police spokesman Carl Zogby.
Surveillance video released Thursday showed two guys, with shirts wrapped around their faces, waiting outside a salon.
For about eight minutes they waited looking in the windows until finally one of them hurled a rock through the window and entered the store through the broken glass and stole a cash register.
The second guy followed him inside.
Six stores were burglarized early Tuesday morning in the same smash and grab method. Store front windows were smashed by a rock and, in most cases, cash registers were stolen from businesses.
The teen was originally spotted by police near one of the burglary scenes, a nail salon, located at 4532 W. 12th Avenue.
“We actually caught him that morning running away from the last store they tried to break into,” said Zogby.
He ran from police but they eventually caught up to him, placed him under arrest and charged him with loitering/prowling and resisting arrest. They were later able to charge him with burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief.
“They ran, both of them, we caught Cristian Gonzalez, but we couldn’t exactly pin the crime on him so we arrested him for loitering and prowling,” said Zogby. “A few hours later, he was released. We went back to his and house picked him up because one of the cash registers in one of the businesses they’d burglarized came back with his fingerprint on it.”
Detectives are also looking for another male in connection to the burglary. Police believe he is also a teenager.
“We still have to catch his associate and if they’ve done these six, who knows what else they’ve done,” said Zogby.