St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara announces six arrests stemming from burglary ring that stole from unlocked homes in St. Lucie County
Today, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara announced the arrest of six Port St. Lucie residents in connection with a burglary ring preying on those who left their homes unlocked in unincorporated St. Lucie County and the City of Port St. Lucie.
The arrests solve eight burglaries in the unincorporated subdivision of Indian River Estates, east of U.S.1 and south of Midway Road, and two more in the River Park area west of U.S.1 and north of Prima Vista Boulevard.
In addition to the two burglars arrested, detectives arrested one defendant who received stolen property in return for drugs, as well as three people involved in the drug trade.
Here is Sheriff Mascara's statement on the case:
In the past three weeks, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office has investigated eight residential burglaries in Indian River Estates. Although there were few leads, it appeared that the suspects were targeting unoccupied, unlocked homes in the area. Once inside each home, the suspects were taking jewelry, cash and electronics.
On February 3rd, investigators received information from a resident who came home and found a white car parked in her driveway. She also noticed a man coming from the back of her home. When she confronted the man, he said he was there to visit a friend and quickly left. The homeowner was able to get a tag number for the vehicle and a B.O.L.O. was circulated to local law enforcement.
Deputy Joseph Brennan saw the vehicle Tuesday and stopped it because the occupants were not wearing their seat belts. The car was being driven by Raymond Andrades, and Fabian Lasalle was his passenger. Deputy Brennan noticed many items of jewelry, prescription pills and cash strewn about the car.
He also noticed a pair of black gloves in the back seat. The two were unable to explain the presence of these items and were extremely nervous. Deputy Brennan arrested Andrades and Lasalle and brought them to the detective bureau.
Andrades was searched, and investigators located a class ring with a name inscribed inside. Andrades said he and Lasalle broke into a house on East Arbor Avenue (west of U.S.1 and north of Prima Vista Boulevard) and took the ring, along with other jewelry and money. Detectives contacted the victim, who explained he was currently out of town, but that he owned the stolen ring. Deputies went to his home and found it had been burglarized.
During interviews of Andrades and Lasalle, it was determined they are responsible for multiple burglaries in St. Lucie County, including some cases in Port St. Lucie. Investigators are working closely with the Port St. Lucie Police Department to identify specific locations of additional burglaries.
Detectives also learned the to suspects have been pawning a large amount of jewelry to local pawn shops and gold buying stores. The suspects told investigators they were specifically targeting homes that were unlocked and would move on to another home if they tried the doors and found them secure.
Some of the stolen items were also allegedly traded for cocaine at a residence in Port St. Lucie. Subsequent investigation indicated the stolen property was traded to Emmanuel Serrano at 237 S.W. Tulip Boulevard in Port St. Lucie. A search warrant for the home was obtained and served Tuesday night.
Inside the home were Emmanuel Serrano, Michael Garcia, Jaime Walder and Erika DeJesus. Investigators recovered several items believed to be stolen. Detectives also found cocaine and marijuana throughout the home.
It was evident this home was being used to package and distribute illegal drugs. All occupants were arrested on drug charges and taken to the St. Lucie County jail.
Additional charges are pending on Andrades, Lasalle and Serrano because detectives have been able to match many of the recovered items to property reported stolen by victims.
Click on Image for Full Size
Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.