MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Authorities said they arrested a 19-year-old serial car burglar after a new development in the case.READ MORE: RNC Donors Gather To Hear Trump, Others In Palm Beach, The GOP's 'New Political Power Center'
South Miami Police Police Sgt. Henry Guzman told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that Jeremiah Davis was arrested late Tuesday afternoon in Pinecrest after a UPS driver called police when saw two teens going over a fence and doing something suspicious.
Guzman said both Davis and his accomplice, 19-year-old Markeith Nickles, were also caught coming out of Pinecrest home.
The duo is now in the custody of Pinecrest Police.
Police had been on the lookout for Davis who has a lengthy rap sheet. Detectives said Davis has victimized dozens of people.
“It is very alarming and concerning,” said one of the victims, Liz Regalado, in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “It is alarming to this neighborhood because they came back wearing masks after wearing a hoody so as to not be able to identify them. So this was an escalation. And as we seen sometimes simple petty theft can escalate to homicide.
“We need to capture this person so we can sleep better at night and not feel like we are on alert always,” she said before CBS4 learned of the arrests. “We need to have some justice and we want him to tell his friends that we are on alert and you cannot come here and make us fearful.”
Regalado had been alerting neighbors about Davis and telling them to be on the lookout for him.
Sgt. Guzman said Davis was captured on surveillance tape victimizing a homeowner around 4:30 a.m. on November 18th on Southwest 75th Terrace.READ MORE: Florida Man Charged With Killing Girlfriend's 2-Year-Old Son
Police had also issued a BOLO, or a be-on-the lookout bulletin, for Davis, who was seen in the surveillance tape wearing a black vest, grey hoodie and camouflage pants.
Guzman said Davis is a car hopper.
“They go in through unlocked doors and take sunglasses, phone cords, gold chains and any valuable items and they continue this and make it a business,” said Guzman.
He said car hoppers typically do not want to break windows because that leaves their DNA and makes noise.
“Car hoppers don’t want to make noise because that alerts the victims as to what’s happening. They don’t want anyone to hear what they are doing and they don’t want to leave their fingerprints and that’s why they are sometimes seen closing car doors with their knees,” said Guzman. “The bottom line is lock you doors and keep what is yours.”
South Miami Police have pro-actively alerted the public about car hopping, which has seen a dramatic increase in South Florida in the past four years.
In November, CBS4 showed one lone car hopper who had been victimizing homeowners in another South Miami neighborhood. And in December, CBS4 showed a group of young car hoppers who would victimize dozens of homeowners in one night. The crime usually happens between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Records show Davis has been arrested three times before for burglary and twice for loitering and prowling. He also has been arrested for resisting arrest, battery, possessing marijuana and for stealing cars.
Regalado said she has some advice.MORE NEWS: COVID In Florida: 6,906 New Cases, 50 Deaths Reported On Saturday
“Be vigilant,” she said. “Lock your cars and secure your home. Lock your gates and keep your light on at night. Cut back your shrubbery.”