Sheriff Mascara discusses arrest of Eric Brown for Lakewood Park burglaries
Here is Sheriff Ken J. Mascara's statement:
Since late December, we have been experiencing a crime trend that involved burglaries and thefts in the Lakewood Park area of northern St. Lucie County. To date, we have thirty seven reported burglaries and thefts.
During our investigation, we discovered stolen credit cards were being used at several businesses in St. Lucie and Indian River County. Video obtained from these transactions produced photos of both the suspects and their vehicle. From the photos, our Intelligence Led Policing Unit was able to get a partial tag number and ultimately identified the vehicle’s owner as Jessica White.
A BOLO was issued for the vehicle and Ms. White. During the early morning hours of January 9, 2014, a patrol deputy spotted the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop.
Deputies discovered the vehicle was being driven by Jessica White. Also in the car with her was Herman Nettles and Eric Brown. Ms. White had a suspended driver’s license and she was arrested. Nettles and Brown both matched photos obtained from the credit card transactions and were taken into custody at that time. Their vehicle contained numerous suspected stolen items, including cell phones, gift cards and money.
During interviews, they admitted they had all been travelling throughout the Lakewood Park and Spanish Lakes communities, entering unlocked cars and stealing bicycles and golf carts. They were using the bicycles and golf carts to travel discreetly while they committed additional crimes. They also told detectives they were committing these crimes to support a crack cocaine habit.
Among items stolen during the burglaries were electronics, money, credit cards and guns. All three suspects were living in the 5800 block of Shannon Drive, which is located in Lakewood Park. This allowed them easy access to the area without being detected.
Information obtained during interviews lead us to execute search warrants on the suspect’s residence as well as one additional residence in Lakewood Park. During both of these search warrants we recovered additional property we believe may be stolen. Our investigation continues and do anticipate additional arrests in the coming days as we identify the owners of the stolen items.
As I previously mentioned, many of the crimes involved entering unlocked vehicles. I would like to remind everyone to be diligent in locking their vehicles to prevent becoming a victim. Additionally, I am encouraging anyone who may be missing property that has not been reported it to call 911 and have a deputy respond to take a report. This will assist detectives with connecting the rightful owners with their missing property.
Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to call our Criminal Investigation Division at 772-462-3230.
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Eric Brown, arrested for burglary
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