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MIAMI (CBSMiami)—New surveillance tape obtained by CBS4 shows a thief who authorities say has been on a rampage at Miami-Dade schools, stealing at least eight surveillance cameras and copper wiring in the past year.

“He’s very acrobatic and knows cameras and knows what he is doing,” said Miami-Dade Schools Police Lt. Raul Correa in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.

Some surveillance video shows the suspect slithering between columns inside Jose Diego Middle School. Other camera angles show the top of his head and other images show only his sneaker.

Correa did show D’Oench one photo on the “need to identity” flyer that clearly shows the suspect’s face. School Police have passed around the flyer in neighborhoods near the schools.

“What we can see on this surveillance tape is a very brazen individual who takes it upon himself to remove cameras from schools. These are cameras that are used for surveillance to keep our kids safe. So what he is doing is jeopardizing the safety of our kids at school,” said Correa.

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“He’s making taxpayers pay for this as we are replacing what has been stolen,” said Correa.

Documents obtained by CBS4 show this suspect took cameras three times from Jose Diego Middle School at 3100 N.W. 5th Ave. in September of 2013. He also stole surveillance cameras on two occasions from Edison Middle School this past April and July. He also stole once from Edison Senior High School at N.W. 61st St. and N.W. 2nd Ave in August of this year.

“This guy is between 5-foot 6 and 5-9 and has an average build, is actually thin and is between 35 and 45 years old,” said Correa. “He has a scar over his left eye and has a moustache.”

“We need to get him off the street,” said Correa. “It would mean the street would be safer and the school community would be safer.”

Correa said, “He seems very comfortable inside those schools.” He said he believes the suspect lives near the schools he victimized.

The suspect has always broken into schools between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Correa said the suspect who was often seen wearing a white t-shirt with a black and gold logo on the front, white shorts and dark shoes. He said he has caused over $10,000 worth of damage.

Neighbors and Miami-Dade residents who spoke with CBS4 said they were surprised and saddened by the actions of the surveillance camera thief.

“I mean it is insane. It is crazy. I never heard anything that,” said Larissa Garcia.

Ezequiel Fattore said, “Of course that is wrong. Schools must be a place where kids can be safe.”

Another Miami-Dade resident, Valerie Scinto, said “Schools should be the safest places around town.”

“Anytime someone breaks in schools where there are children,” said Chris McGrath.”That is a concern.”

Correa said anyone with information should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).


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Peter D'Oench