DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Daytime burglars targeting vacationers staying in motels have been busted with the help Broward Sheriff’s Office special team of detectives.
BSO’s Violence Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response Team, also known as V.I.P.E.R., received a tip about two suspects scheming to burglarize a motel room at Motel 6 at 825 E. Dania Beach Boulevard where they believed there were weapons inside a safe, according to police.
The V.I.P.E.R. team of detectives, along with the SWAT team, coordinated with the motel’s management so they could catch the suspects in the act.
“They came all the way around both sides of the building and the SWAT team and told everyone to stay in their rooms,” motel guest Tom Bryant explained.
On April 2, around 7 pm, the suspects drove into the motel parking lot in a white van. Travoynne Martin, 23, and Sharif Earp, 22, were wearing hooded sweatshirts, sunglasses and gloves and, according to police, unlawfully entered room 124.
The suspects spent less than two minutes ransacking the room before exiting the room carrying the safe.
The SWAT team then exited the room next door, taking the suspects into custody without incident.
“I heard boom and then I heard the police officer say ‘put your hands up, put your hands up’,” Ketina Bedessie told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana.
Motel employee Teandra Nunez described the scene as chaotic. “Everyone was frantic,” she said.
Police said that Martin and Earp had a laptop, a tablet, iPhone, jewelry, currency and weapons that were inside the safe.
“They (the deputies) went into the room and put inoperable weapons inside the safe so that if they (the burglars) open the safe, they would in fact in find weapons,” said BSO Spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion.
Martin and Earp were booked into the BSO Main Jail and are facing charges of armed burglary, grand theft and grand theft of a firearm and are being held with no bond.
Earp’s criminal history, police said, includes two arrests for strong-armed robbery. Martin’s criminal history includes five misdemeanor arrests.
BSO K-9 Unit, the Covert Electronics Surveillance Unit, the Burglary Apprehension Team and Motel 6 management assisted in the success of this operation.
Detectives urge motel guests to be aware of their surroundings and keep valuable well-stashed.
“It (does) make me very scared because I have my kids and I don’t want (anyone) to come in here and try to target me. We don’t have anything,” Bedessie said. “It’s kind of scary.”