PLANTATION (CBS4) – Two home invasions in two counties and weeks apart are linked, according to investigative documents uncovered by CBS4 News.
The connection between the crimes in Plantation and Palm Beach Gardens?
A security company employee who provided inside information to a suspect, according to police.
A search warrant reveals that victims in both crimes had security systems installed in their homes by the same South Florida company, Security Tech Inc. The warrant says an employee of the company admitted giving inside information about the victims to one of the men involved in the crimes.
Leonard Pereira, the victim in Plantation, said he could not believe the allegations.
“It’s horrific,” he told CBS4’s Carey Codd. “(My wife and I) can’t believe it. We’re still in shock.”
The warrant says that the employee, Christopher Michaelides, “admitted” that he had “direct knowledge of the two robberies.”
The documents shows that Michaelides told police he provided one of the men with “the address and specific information concerning the security cameras and the location of the digital video recording system” inside the Pereira’s home.
According to the warrant, Anthony Roman approached his friend, Michaelides, with an offer — $10,000 for info on the Pereira’s home.
Plantation Police say on September 12, three men arrived at the Pereira home, pretended to be flower delivery people and forced their way inside. They tied up the female homeowner at gunpoint and stole tens of thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry.
The search warrant reveals that police believe Roman and Vermillion are suspected of taking part in the crime. Neither man has been charged in the Plantation case but a police source told CBS 4 News, “Our intention is to charge them.”
The crime in Palm Beach Gardens occurred on October 17. According to a police report, two men arrived at a home with a truck bearing a FedEx logo. One of the men carted a box to the door and brought it inside.
The homeowner told police the man pulled out a gun and ordered her on the floor. A man at the home tried to fight back but was beaten on the head by a second man with a gun.
The suspects fled in the truck but were captured a short time later. They were identified as Roman, of Hollywood, and Jonathan Vermillion, of Plantation. Both men are charged with armed occupied burglary and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Vermillion has pled not guilty to the crime. Information on Roman’s plea could not be found in court records.
The search warrant shows that despite Michaelides not receiving the promised $10,000 from the Periera robbery, he again gave inside information to Roman just weeks later.
“Roman requested for a Michaelides to provide him with an address of another home serviced by Security Tech Inc. where a safe could be found in the home,” the document reads. “Michaelides provided Roman with an address and specific security information” about the Palm Beach Gardens home.
CBS 4 News went to the last known address for Michaelides but he no one answered the door to answer our questions. Michaelides has not been charged in either case.
The owner of Security Tech, Gene Foley, told CBS 4 that Michaelides no longer works for his company after 4 years of employment. Foley said he performs background checks on all employees.
“We are cooperating fully with the police,” Foley said. “They have every bit of information I have. I’m doing what I can to help them along.”
Leonard Pereira said he has been a longtime customer of Foley’s. Still, he added, “in his business that should never happen.”
Pereira said his wife is still haunted by the violence she endured. He said they want the people responsible punished.
“They should go away for life, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “Goodbye.”
Police are still looking for a third suspect in the Plantation case. Detectives also want to track down several pieces of jewelry stolen from the Pereira’s that have enormous sentimental value — like an anniversary ring and a Rolex watch.
If you have information that can assist police, call Crimestoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.