Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater police may have broken up car burglary ring

CLEARWATER — Police may have broken up a burglary ring that was targeting vehicles at local fitness centers and parks.

On Thursday, police arrested three residents of Florida's east coast after a witness reported seeing them trying to break into cars at LA Fitness at 21750 U.S. 19 N, according to arrest reports.

The witness called Clearwater police, who arrived and arrested 25-year-old Thaddeus L. Terrell of Fort Lauderdale and 21-year-old Jennifer Perez and 19-year-old Darnisha C. Johnson, both of Homestead.

All three were charged with loitering and prowling. Terrell was also charged with possession of burglary tools, attempted burglary, providing a false name to law enforcement and violation of probation. Perez was also charged with attempted burglary and Johnson was also charged with accessory after the fact because, police said, she acted as a lookout.

According to police reports, the witness saw the trio driving around the fitness center's parking lot Thursday morning and stopping at various vehicles, where Terrell and Perez would jump out and try to open car doors. All of the cars were locked.

Surveillance video captured the incident.

Vehicles at the center have been burglarized frequently, the reports show. Clearwater police routinely remind residents to remove valuables from their cars and lock the doors to prevent crimes of opportunity.

"Fitness centers are obviously a target area because people will leave their belongings in the car while they go work out," said city spokeswoman Joelle Castelli.

Terrell, who gave police a false name but was identified through fingerprints, had a yellow metal "punch" device used to break windows and admitted to the arresting officers that he was trying to break into cars, according to the reports.

Police found "a large number of gift cards" in the trio's rented Nissan Rogue, Castelli said, and are working to identify victims.

Terrell is on probation after being convicted of burglary and criminal mischief charges from Miami-Dade County, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

Johnson and Perez do not have criminal records in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

On Friday, Johnson was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $5,250 bail, Perez was being held in lieu of $10,500 bail, and Terrell was being held without bail on the probation violation.

Clearwater police may have broken up car burglary ring 01/28/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 28, 2011 7:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Solar eclipse, gender gap, new schools and more

    Blogs

    TOTAL ECLIPSE: More than 8,000 Hernando County students skip school after their school district gives them excused absences for the day. Students who …

    Students at Bayonet Point Middle School observe the solar eclipse Monday through their special eclipse glasses.
  2. Epilogue: Martin Giles a man of few, but strong, words for WFLA-AM 970

    Obituaries

    As the story goes, his higher-ups at the Misawa Air Base in Japan were clear with their edict to Martin Giles: It was only the mid-1950s, not far enough away from World War II for the Japanese to be trusted.

    Martin Giles, a longtime radio news anchor for WFLA-AM 970, died last week at the age of 80.
  3. Forecast: Minimal rain, for now, as hot temperatures prevail across Tampa Bay

    Weather

    Tampa Bay residents can expect a calm, rain-free start to Tuesday before showers arrive in the evening.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  4. Afghanistan reaction mixed on Trump's tough-talking speech

    World

    KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghans on Tuesday welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump's harsh words for Pakistan in a speech outlining his strategy for the war-torn country that critics said offered little in the way of details and ruled out nation-building.

    President Donald Trump speaks at Fort Myer in Arlington Va., Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, during a Presidential Address to the Nation about a strategy he believes will best position the U.S. to eventually declare victory in Afghanistan. [Associated Press]