Four men have been arrested in connection with dozens of burglaries in Broward County, authorities said Monday.
Dontowan Owens, 26, Anthony Myers, 26, Roshan Brown, 25, and Jamar Lewis, 24, were arrested for a string of burglaries netting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen property, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.
Detectives were able to observe the men going to various affluent neighborhoods. They appeared to be searching for potential targets in these areas with expensive homes.
"What we observed during the last week was these individuals going into high-end communities and casing out the homes, then returning the next night and committing the burglaries," said Det. Geoff Brown with BSO.
The men committed two burglaries in Coral Springs while under surveillance by members of the multi-agency Burglary Task Force, including the Coral Springs PD BEAR unit and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office BAT.
The men were arrested without incident in Coral Springs on Saturday. Upon arrest, officers recovered a crow bar, gloves and screwdrivers, as well as the expensive jewelry they had just stolen, officials said.
"They were looking for people that were out of town on vacation. The reason we ended up finding that out was because they were checking on mailboxes," said Det. Dwight Hodgson with the Coral Springs Police Department.
Both law enforcement agencies said they've seen an increase in burglaries in the summer months.
Here are some tips on how to minimize the chance of a break-in:
- Use timers on interior lights.
- Install an alarm system with motion sensors and glass breakage detectors.
- If you're traveling out of town, leave a car in the driveway.
- Be a good neighbor.
"Pay attention to your neighborhood. If you see vehicles that are in your neighbor's house or driveway and don't recognize them or suspicious people walking around, call 911 immediately," said Brown.
Detectives said thieves are rarely taking electronics, instead they have their eyes on cash, jewelry, guns and high-end accessories.
"Cameras, very important. Not only do they record if someone is going to enter your residence, they also scare burglars off," Brown said.
All of the suspects in this case have prior arrest records with a history of burglaries.
Owens is currently on felony probation and has three felony convictions. He is listed as a violent offender and has a history of burglaries and grand theft.
Myers is on felony probation and has nine felony convictions with a long history for burglary unoccupied conveyance, unoccupied dwelling, grand theft, grand theft auto and larceny.
Brown has a history of numerous burglaries and strong armed robbery with a weapon.
Lewis is currently on probation for burglary of an occupied dwelling and grand theft.
It is unknown if the suspects have an attorney. Two have been released from jail on bond.