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 July 19th, 2010  
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office surveillance pays off with arrest of two burglars stealing purse from parked car at Hutchinson Island beach access
 
Weekend surveillance of Hutchinson Island beach access parking lots paid off for St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputies who arrested two people for stealing a purse from a parked car, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"We constantly warn people not to lock valuables inside the cabs of their cars at beach access points," Sheriff Mascara said. "People who want to steal purses and wallets will break car windows and steal what they see. It's far better to lock valuables in the trunk. Sunday afternoon, deputies arrested two people committing this kind of burglary."

On Sunday, Sheriff's detectives were conducting surveillance at beach access points due to recent car burglaries in those areas.

At 4 p.m., detectives saw a man and woman looking into the windows of cars parked at Walton Rocks Beach, the first beach access area south of the nuclear power plant. The two, Ashley Piakis, 20, and her boyfriend Sean Bradley, 22, both of 26 Vista Gardens Trail, Apt. 107, Vero Beach, drove to Herman's Bay beach access, about 1.5 miles south of Walton Rocks Beach, where they stayed a short time and rapidly drove away, heading south.

There, deputies found a white Hyundai with the driver-side window partially open and the burglar alarm sounding. they quickly found the car's owner, who discovered her purse was taken from the car.

Deputies followed the older, green BMW Piakis and Bradley were driving, stopped the car and found the victim's purse on the floor of the car's passenger side.

Piakis told detectives they stole from cars parked at the beach to feed a drug habit.

Detectives arrested them for burglary, grand theft, loitering and prowling, and possession drug paraphernalia. Bradley, who is on probation for trafficking in stolen property, was also charged with violating his probation. He has a history of similar crimes in Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin counties. He was released from custody June 11.

"St. Lucie County deputies have been coordinating their efforts with members of the Martin County Sheriff's Office. Both counties have experienced car burglaries on the beach," Sheriff Mascara said.

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