St. Lucie County deputies, Fort Pierce officers solve 12 burglaries from cars at gas stations with Tuesday arrest of 34-year-old Port St. Lucie man on his birthday
Hubert Earl Singley was jailed Tuesday, his 34th birthday for 12 thefts of purses and other items from the cars of motorists at gas stations in Fort Pierce and unincorporated St. Lucie County, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara and Police Chief R. Sean Baldwin.
The thefts date back to Aug. 28, took place at gas stations on U.S.1 and Okeechobee Road, in which Singley would wait until a motorist started pumping gas. Then they would go to the passenger side unlocked door, open it an steal purses and other items sitting on the front seat.
Singley, of 1930 S.E. West Dunbrooke Circle, faces 12 counts of burglarizing unoccupied vehicles, four counts of grand theft and eight counts of misdemeanor theft, with a total bond of $57, 750.
"It was alert police work by one of our deputies that stopped this string of car burglaries," said Sheriff Mascara. "We can now give the victims the satisfaction of knowing the thief is in custody."
"Our officers and deputies are working together every day to protect our community, and this arrest is another example of this commitment,” said Fort Pierce Police Chief Baldwin.
Sheriff Mascara and Chief Baldwin urge gas station customers to lock their car doors while pumping gas.
Patrol Deputy Eva Macias, who was surveilling the Hess station at 8580 South U.S.1 between calls for service, was looking through binoculars just before 9:15 Tuesday, when she saw a man later identified as Singley get out of a black Toyota Corolla, open the passenger side front door of another car, grab something, close the door and jump back into the Toyota, that drove north on U.S.1.
She saw the car pull behind A+ Storage at 8350 South U.S.1, Port St. Lucie, and stopped the car Driving was Charli Jo Gilbert. Also in the car was Singley and the couple's son, Wayne Singley in a car seat.
Deputy Macias didn't have enough probable cause to make an arrest after identifying the car's occupants, and she released them. Shortly afterward, Sheriff's detectives found a wallet belonging to theft victim Carolyn K. Ray. $200 had been taken from the wallet. Detectives also found a Miami Dolphins cap and a pair of black gloves.
When detectives went to the home where Gilbert and Singley lived, Gilbert was home and admitted that she was a passenger in the Toyota when the 11 thefts took place dating back to Aug. 28. She showed investigators the location of the thefts and where the couple ditched the stolen items, keeping the cash.
Gilbert said the couple targeted SUVs because it was easier for them to conceal themselves behind these vehicle before snatching the purses an stealing other items.
While detectives were at the home, Singley called. Sheriff's Capt. Jerry Rothman took the phone and told Singley he needed to surrender. He told deputies he would give himself up at the Burger King at Midway Road and U.S.1. A short time later, he surrendered to deputies at the restaurant.
Sheriff's detectives worked together with Fort Pierce police detectives to confirm all the locations and dates of the thefts.
The other gas stations were the thefts occurred were at 6601 South U.S.1 and 5870 Okeechobee Road, and other gas stations on U.S.1.
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Hubert Singley, serial car burglar, now in custody
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