Police in Coral Gables arrested four people in connection with a high-end car theft that they say is part of a bigger operation.
The car theft happened at a home in Gables Estates off Old Cutler late Sunday morning.
Surveillance footage captured one man who was seen opening the gate to a house and then goes on to open the driver's side door of a 2018 Range Rover. Seconds later, he's seen driving off in the car.
Coral Gables Police Sergeant Alejandro Escobar said the men figured the car’s key fob had been left inside because the side view mirrors weren’t retracted. He also believes the thieves knew their work would be effortless.
"That makes it a target," Escobar said. "They open the door because they don’t lock because the fob is still inside, and they hit the start button and they are off."
The car was found the following day in Lauderhill.
Also on Monday, a security guard spotted a Mercedes involved in other break-ins in the waterfront neighborhood and called police. The group inside the car later crashed into a street sign and tried to run. A 16-year-old from Fort Lauderdale was taken into custody at that scene.
“They damaged the gate on their exit, which also gave them a flat tire and drove about a mile and they all bailed out because the car was disabled," Escobar said.
Police set up a perimeter, and that’s when Chadrick Jones and Danita Greene enter the story — according to police, Jones was caught trying to find the men, and Greene had picked up her 17-year-old son, who was also taken into custody, near the scene.
“They were able to identify that the person was involved in the initial stop," Escobar said.
Jones was charged with improper open carrying a concealed firearm and failure to obey a police officer, while Green was charged with driving with a suspended license and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were both transported to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami.
Both teens were charged with loitering and prowling and resisting without violence and transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
Attorney information was not available.
Police believe the crime is a part of a bigger operation in which thieves go on the falsify the VIN information of these cars and tries to sell them online.
“We also remind everyone to remove all key fobs from their vehicles when they are not operating them and keep them secure outside of the vehicle," Coral Gables Police Chief Edward J. Hudak Jr. said in a news release. "It is also highly recommended that owners of newer modeled vehicles should have the manufacturer install GPS as recovery is based upon how quickly they can be located before tracking devices are disabled.”
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