MIAMI GARDENS (CBS4) – A thief apparently looking to steal copper from equipment on the roof of a Miami-Dade school fell more than two stories, a debilitating plunge that left him unable to walk, apparently with a broken hip or leg.

The hapless Spiderman was captured by security cameras at Charles Wyche Elementary School in Miami Gardens.  He arrives, wearing a ski mask, and begins to arrange ropes he’s carrying for a climb up the outside wall of the school to the roof, more than two stories above.   Moments later a second camera angle shows the man falling to the ground – a drop of more than 25 feet – where he begins to writhe in pain.  The intruder dragged himself out on to a walkway and attempted to stand up, but immediately fell back down.  He then dragged himself on his belly out of the school, pushing a pair of bolt cutters in front of him.

“He was trying to get on the roof of the school to commit copper theft,” said schools police Sergeant Ivan Silva.  “As you can see from the video, he’s not the most skillful burglar.”

“He sustained what we believe is a significant injury,” said schools police Chief Charles Hurley.  “Someone knows who he is.  We’re asking the community to help us identify him.”

Hurley said a family member or acquaintance would have to have noticed the serious injury, and the would-be thief almost certainly sought medical treatment.  Police hope someone who came in contact with the man will see news media accounts of the incident, put two and two together, and call the cops.

Hurley said copper theft has become a major national security and public safety issue.

“It is a billion dollar a year business.  Thieves are stealing copper from utility poles, air conditioning units, school equipment, even churches,” Hurley said.

The thief at Wyche elementary school apparently doesn’t have a future in mountain climbing.  He got away not just crippled but empty-handed.  None of the equipment containing copper on the school roof was damaged or disturbed, leading investigators to believe he fell while trying to pull himself onto the roof.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

Comments (126)
  1. jnsesq says:

    Good. Hope he gets gangrene.

    1. phil says:

      …too bad this wasn’t in Houston. Similar thing happened in the 80’s, at a high school. The would-be burglar fell through a roof sky-light and was severely injured. He SUED the City of Houston, and The School system…and won.

  2. George Johnson says:

    Yeah, I’m hoping for a broken bone, no treatment and a serious infection from it.

    I love a story with a happy ending.

  3. Kelley says:

    ROFL The only thing better would have been if he had broken his back and gotten caught cause he could not crawl.

  4. Stephen Ryan says:

    We automatically assume that he is a man. That is sexism. He could have been a woman. I mean she could have been a woman.

    1. Real Rick says:

      Don’t talk bad about the broads!!!

    2. greyfox says:

      He will probably sue the school for putting the copper up so high that he had to climb to the second floor to get at it. Not meant to be funny our society has become so ridiculous.

    3. borninmombasa says:

      yes it could have been queen elizabeth , dolt!

    4. noochinator says:

      You mean womyn, sexist!

    5. Rad says:

      I don’t know about him being a woman …did you mean a Wormin??
      Because it looked like he was definately “W o r m i n ?

      1. Doug says:

        I think he meant vermin.

    6. jim says:

      boy, that is a great point. I bet the guys in the joint will find out quickly.

  5. poorhardworker says:

    LOL!!!! So how’s the life as a parasite treating you now????

    1. AngryGuu says:

      How dare you insult parasites?

  6. rob says:

    He’s probably in a hospital getting good medical attention at taxpayers expense. The hospital will refuse to give out any information on the perp because it would violate Hippa rules. it’s a shame his bones didn’t pop through his skin so he would have left a nice blood trail.

  7. neednewpresident says:

    He will still be able to cast his vote for Obama, by absentee ballot, unless he gets caught. I hope they catch him.

    1. Fredflintstone Third says:

      More likely he’s an out of work Joe the Plumber using his pipe-fitting skills.

  8. David says:

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but from a taxpayer viewpoint, it would have been better had he or she gotten away with the copper. Who do you think is going to be paying for his medical bills, unemployment benefits, food stamps, housing, adult education, counseling, etc. over the next several decades?

    1. Shanda Linscheid-Webb says:

      Not to mention the tax payers expense for his/her prison sentence when he/she does get caught. It would have been cheaper if he had fallen and broken his/her necks.

  9. Kyle Cooper says:

    Obama considers this guy an independent contractor and will provide grant money and free healthcare. Not to mention the DOJ will sue the school for having copper on the roof without OHSHA approved access for special needs thieves.

    1. jnsesq says:

      ‘Bout sez it all, Kyle.

    2. greyfox says:

      Hey, I already said that, (sue the school)

    3. Shanda Linscheid-Webb says:

      Disregard comment it was a response to the comment above this one.

  10. Gravity Works says:

    He was doing okay until he looked down and saw that old penny on the ground.

    Reaching down…

  11. Ralloh says:

    That has got to be one of the most hilarious videos I’ve seen in a long time. I honestly hope he is in excruciating pain. Merry Christmas dork!

  12. Ryan Mouk says:

    Nothing better then watching a cowardly thief get what he deserves. I hop he looses the use of his legs and is forced to eat the waste of rats. I spit on this useless bag of human trash.

  13. I haven't forgotten you says:

    Right, super funny. hahahaha.

    So what happens when people start mugging the post man for mail bundles? Will that be super funny too? When do we star addressing the real issues with the economy?

    Vote Ron Paul

  14. Steven Chelin says:

    It’s a shame that now we will have to pay for his health care.

  15. LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV says:

    He will still vote for black democrats from jail.

  16. John Sheridan says:

    Right, now Homeboy will invariably get himself on SSI disability and Medicaid so we all be paying for this for years to come,

  17. davec says:

    Welcome to the Obama Economy.

    This man is stealing copper because Obama bankrupt him

  18. Salmon says:

    No meth for you tonight…tweakers VS. gravity, gotta love it.

  19. Sal says:

    Watch him hire a lawyer and sue the city for failing to provide safety fencing on the roof. Dumb P.O.S.

    1. Scudbuster says:

      Your right Sal, He’ll sue the school, win & the tax payers will have to care for him!

  20. Real Rick says:

    To bad he didn’t break his neck.

    1. sniper310 says:

      he cityWould have been more cost effective for t

  21. Bob says:

    Stupid is as stupid does..

  22. heatherfeather says:

    Miami? Hopefully he staggered into an alligator farm!

  23. Tim says:

    I just hope he crawls in a hole and dies a painful death. Otherwise the taxpayers will have to pay his/her medical, court costs, lawyer and incarceration. Then the parasite will probably sue and win because a few idiots on the jury will feel sorry for the poor crippled POS.

  24. rose says:

    Proves the school failed him

  25. Robin says:

    Check the shrubbery for a rotting corpse holding a set of bolt cutters.

  26. Bob t says:

    Don’t look for him too hard. He’ll probably sue. After all, that roof wasn’t safe!

  27. yewzernayme says:

    Check Craigslist:

    Boltcutters for sale, barely used with some scratches

    1. DigitalBob says:

      Never used…dropped once.

  28. Lazybum says:

    Sadly he will likely file workers comp claim and get it, followed by suing for damages and loss of income…

  29. Ted Hughes says:

    It’s heartwarming to see all the comments against this parasite. I see there is still hope in this country for a brighter tomorrow.

  30. homer says:

    Hope and Change. Another unemployed Obama voter finds reality

  31. NoFear says:

    He should have to crawl on his belly like a snake for the rest of his miserable short life.

  32. Einbert says:

    Give the fellow a break.

    1. borninmombasa says:

      yes the other leg

  33. tdrag says:

    If he lives, the taxpayers will be caring for this slug for the rest of his worthless life. Hope and Change.

    1. T says:

      Chances are very good that he not only supplements his income and drug habit by stealing on the tax payer dollar, but his health care is also provided at the taxpayer expence. Isn’t that a nice thought. Merry Christmas.

  34. Bone Lee Tadpole says:

    Hhahahahahahahahahahahahahahha…..!!!!!!!!!!! I love seeing crooks get hurt, killed etc 🙂

  35. DigitalBob says:

    He will remember that day every time he takes a step. Hopefully, he will go to Mexico to have it looked at.

  36. Count Yob says:

    No more 2nd story heists for gimpy. Maybe he can crawl over to a street light and electrocute himself trying to make off with the copper wiring.

  37. borninmombasa says:

    I suspect in the end when he’s disovered we will find he’s just another “Irish kid” gone bad.

  38. Why is copper theft such a problem? Why don’t cops just hang out where these people go to sell copper?

  39. Steven Goodwin says:


  40. steven chelin says:

    Well seeing as we are already most likely paying for his food, housing, and healthcare, he was just doing this as a side job to supplement his income.

    Once they catch him, our costs will only go up as we now have to pay the jail system to baby sit him.

  41. Al Teal says:

    Broken leg or hip. Can’t go to a hospital. Can’t tell any of his law-abiding friends.

    Was it worth it, Dummy?

    1. George Johnson says:

      Really? You think this guy has law abiding friends??

      1. Al Teal says:

        He may have law abiding acquaintances.

  42. Al Teal says:

    Check Eric Holder for injuries.

  43. Kyle says:

    Hope that the thief dies from his injuries.

  44. George Johnson says:

    Yes, the more I think about it, the more sure I am the taxpayers will have to pick up the HUGE tab for this guy.
    He falls, breaks something. If he goes to the hospital, he’ll get busted and enter the penal system, where the taxpayers will have to find his life.
    If he doesn’t, he’s gonna be crippled for life. He’ll file for disability, and again, the taxpayers will have to fund his miserable existence.
    Our best bet is death from infection, or he tries this again and death from electrocution or another fall.

    Either way, I sure hope he is reading these comments, knowing everybody is wishing for his death must make him feel all warm and fuzzy inside!! (or is that the infection?)

  45. Consultofactus says:

    I see you posters are NOT in the season…so to remedy that here’s my little parody of “Up on the Rooftop”

    Up on the rooftop
    Pit bull claws
    Out jumps good ol’ Obama Claus
    Cutting up the copper snip, snip, snip!
    Fell through a skylight
    and broke his hip!

    Yo Yo Yo!
    He cried like a ‘ho!

    Yo Yo Yo!
    The police want to know!

    Who was that shvartze crawling slow?
    They’ll probably find his body out in the snow!

    1. Rudolph the red says:

      Thanks Consultofactus,
      your rhyme didn’t tax us!

  46. Crosscut says:

    Merry Christmas to this thieving em eff . But you know in the end the taxpayers will pay his medical bills and rehab.

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  47. Bearcat says:

    Maybe he’ll sue the school and win.

  48. Claidia says:

    Awesome! Maybe folks should start coating their roofs with grease!

    1. Herman Vogel says:

      No, the eviro-freaks will have you fined.

  49. tax revolt says:

    I wonder if he is going to try and sue the school? (sarc) I mean really what are they thinking not having a safety net or barrier to prevent the fall or prevent the thief from reaching those heights. If a thief can get up there and fall couldn’t a student?

  50. Chico says:

    He should of tried landing lips first.

  51. Blackavenger says:

    SO 0bumas brother is drunk again? Maybe he needs the copper to rewire the ho house.

  52. Herman Vogel says:

    He will sue the school for such a poorly designed roof and retire a millionair. Don’t laugh,,it’s happened in San Antonio, Texas in the 70s when a kid fell through the roof of a school wood shop while burglarizing it and won a $50,000 law suit.

  53. mmm says:

    to bad he didnt fall on his freekin head..

  54. Bill E Bob says:

    Obama voter. Too funny for prime time.

  55. Mark says:

    With our legal system, the jerk will get caught and immediately sue the school for millions for failing to make his endeavor safer.

    1. T says:

      Lawyers need a little cricket on thier shoulder – “don’t take this case” or ” fail on purpouse and convice his ass!” you pick. Guilty is guilty… no loose ends.

  56. samboachie says:

    I am sure our tax dollars will go to pay for his medical expenses. He should have to pay back the medical expenses and do his jail time as a proper punishment. if he can climb a roof he is healthy enough physically to work. In terms of his mental capabilities…I don’t know enough to make a judgement.

    1. Camilo says:

      I added the bttoun and it shows up but when I click on it to reply nothing happens. I also want to make sure that the person I am replying to gets notified that I am replying. Please help.

  57. BigBoa says:

    George Johnson!!!

    SHAME on you sir! If it goes as you suggest, he will sue and probably win MILLIONS!!

    You FORGOT to include “he DIES”!!!


  58. walter12 says:

    Wow, sometimes there is justice in this world, not just the next.

  59. nogard says:

    I hope it REALLY hurts!

  60. Flannigan says:

    And people say “Break a leg” for good luck.

  61. tubaman says:

    too bad he didn’t break his friggin’ neck

  62. Michael says:

    I think it’s appropriate to quote Nelson Muntz on this one and just say, “HA HA!”

  63. Vputin says:

    Don’t call this a national security threat unless you want the feds to get involved.

  64. madmannie says:

    Apprehend him , take him to the top of the building and throw him off – then if still breathing drop him off at the nearest alligator populated canal.

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  65. robert m says:

    methinks he got all the justice needed, lets hope he rethinks his blessing and true purpose in life. Chances are it’s a lifetime injury….Hey…it’s Christmas….give him some slack

    1. ZonaJim says:

      Robert – You’re a class act. God bless you.

  66. Swiss says:

    Every now and then one comes across a heartwarming holiday story like this one.

  67. Fishsnot says:

    Perhaps he’ll have to live with the use of a wheelchair only!!!!!

  68. RobertC says:

    Does that guy actually get paid to read the news? When did Miami become a third world Country?

  69. Bob Honiker says:

    Watch for vultures circling low!

  70. Jim says:

    No mo midnight bassetball for him

  71. Al Tango says:

    It is wonderful to see criminals injure themselves while they are committing a crime.

    The convenient store robber who shot himself in the head was priceless.

  72. Em Spearing says:

    Pardon me while I laugh and laugh and laugh. I hope the arrogant s.o.b is crippled for life. Maybe THEN he will get a job, and the world will have one less thief on its hands. Punk the punk.

  73. Newton Fig says:

    now that’s what I call dropping out of school.

    Oh, come on. Leno and Letterman both will use the same joke tomorrow night to thunderous of cued audience applause. I beat em all!!

  74. Newton Fig says:

    Now thats what I call falling behind in school

    Oh come on, Kimmel, bite me, you wanted that one bad.

  75. Newton Fig says:

    Now that’s what I call jumping out of a school. . .no, that doesnt make sense at all. Oh well, Fallon will still take that one.

  76. Fluidizer says:

    Inst it just great to be living in these wonderful times of Hope and Change? People are so happy they are willing to risk their lives just to steal a few bucks worth of copper. Keep voting Democrat people. They really care about you.

  77. bob m says:

    Don’t worry. You see this guy again… when he comes back to sue the school. The school will probably have to install HANDICAP access to the roof now AND pay this guy millions of dollars in damages. I’ll bet OSHA will fine the school cause there was no sign posted WARNING people that falling off the roof could cause injury, death or windfall lawsuit.

  78. mephistofan says:

    I hope that with all the available information the coppers can find and arrest him

  79. ava says:

    If you see someone walking round with a bent, crook leg had no treatment THAT’S HIM LOL

  80. Fredflintstone Third says:

    Obviously a Teabagger or Republican. Note that he’s trying to wear all black to match the white concrete background…thus an NRA member who’s edumacated in handling combat situations and is well prepared. He’s got his “Joe the Plumber” workboots too, signifying he must make more than $250K per year. He probably thought he was entitled to tax-free income from the copper.

    1. Gra pe A pe Rules2 says:

      Satire, right? No one could be that ignorant of the truth.

    2. Posting Too Quickly says:

      Sarcasm, right? No one could be that ignorant of the truth.

  81. sean patriot says:


  82. Posting Too Quickly says:

    That’s not just stupid, it’s ni qg er stupid.

  83. Rico says:

    I think I know who will pay for his hospital stay!!!

  84. ZonaJim says:

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. For those of you wishing this person dies or is crippled for life, shame on you. He has suffered a serious injury and will likely be captured, tried, convicted and punished as a result of his crime. It was Jesus who forgave the sins of the thief on the cross next to him, and assured him that they would be in heaven soon.

    You may or may not be a Christian, but a little humanity goes a long way folks. This person has chosen the wrong path. They may or may not be able to ammend their ways to follow a law abiding life, but I’ll bet this event causes them to seriously reflect on what they have done wrong.

  85. You all make me sick,,, says:

    Will all the “good Christians” cheering this man’s agony please raise your hands?

    He could be just another meth head, or he could be someone just like you, out of work, trying to feed his family. And for bonus points, he might even hate Obama just as much as most of you all do. But you don’t know that. You’re all too busy reveling in his pain.

    You all just so fill me with that old time Christmas spirit! Don’t forget to tell the next person to wish you a “Happy Holiday” to go f * c k themselves, ya hear!

    1. Giuseppina says:

      abibanaese on August 30, 2011 I like my body, because I am skinny and can wear clothes that are more tight and stunning. But sizes are always hard to find

  86. Jack Fitzgerald says:

    Now he’ll get free medical care and retire on Social Security disability, food stamps, rent assistance, subsidized utilities, a free cell phone for life, and probably a taxpayer funded ACLU lawyer over at Legal Aid, will sue the school for not making it easier and safer to scale, not using tax dollars to provide 24 hour medical care and for not using tax dollars to have a bunch of around the clock guards to protect him from himself.

  87. sheldon says:

    That is known as poetic justice. It will certainly test his mettle.

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