Leaving personal identification at a crime scene and posing for pictures online with some of the loot landed a burglary suspect behind bars, Plantation police said.
At least two men were seen on surveillance video breaking into Arion Motors, 550 S. State Road 7, just before 11 p.m. March 10. They stole files, license plates, 44 car keys and four cars — a BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti and Dodge worth an estimated $43,984, police said.
When one of the suspects pulled a cellphone from his pocket to use as a flashlight inside the dealership, he was unaware that his identification card had also popped out, Det. Robert Rettig said.
"He's oblivious to it," Rettig said. "He doesn't even realize it falls out."
Dealership owner Adnan "Eddie" Radoncic found it the day after the burglary. "[The investigator] was taking fingerprints but I said, 'I don't think you need to do that,' and she said, 'Why not?' and I said, 'Because the bad guy left his [ID card] here, in plain sight.'"
Travis Devonte Rice, 21, had gotten his Florida ID card just three weeks before the break-in. His probation officer had suggested he obtain identification, according to the arrest report.
When Rettig went to verify Rice's identity, the probation officer immediately recognized Rice as the client who had been released from prison on Valentine's Day and was currently on probation for an armed robbery, the report stated.
Losing his ID card at the crime scene was compounded by Rice's posting pictures on Facebook the night of the burglary, police said.
In one image, Rice is crouched down making hand gestures while car keys dangle from his mouth. In another picture, Rice is grabbing his crotch while holding a pair of keys in the air. Rice is wearing the same clothes worn by one of the suspects seen on the surveillance video, Rettig said.
Radoncic says he's been watching the surveillance video repeatedly since the burglary because he finds the suspects' behavior funny. "They went back [out] through the broken window when the door [right next to it] was unlocked," he said with a chuckle. "It didn't make no sense."
The Plantation dealership has only been open since November and there's ongoing construction on the lot, Radoncic said.
"I guess they assumed that we didn't have camera systems," he said. "They didn't know we had a $15,000 camera system installed the first day I moved in."
Rice was arrested Monday and was being held without bond on charges of burglary causing damage over $1,000, grand theft and probation violations, jail records show.
Police were searching for at least one other suspect. The stolen cars have not been recovered, Radoncic said.
"I don't think they get any dumber than this," he said. "I think this guy was born with no brain at all."
Source: Sun Sentinel