April 24, 2011

Detectives arrest vehicle burglar; more arrests expected

Fernando Ovalle, suspected
of committing at least 19
vehicle burglaries in the Keys.
 Key Largo – Detectives investigating a spike of vehicle burglaries in the area from key Largo to Islamorada have arrested one man and expect more arrests and more charges.

Detective Sgt. David Carey says out of the 35 burglaries which have taken place this month in that area, he and his investigators believe 19 of them were committed by 39 year old Fernando Ovalle of Homestead. They are working with the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office to identify other suspects and to bring further charges against Ovalle.

A break in the case came after a vehicle burglary on April 2nd at the Fish House Restaurant in Key Largo in which the suspects were caught on surveillance video. The tape showed a silver colored Jeep pulling in the parking lot with two men inside. One man – Ovalle - is seen breaking a window in another vehicle, reaching inside and removing a black case with a laptop computer and several other items inside, including an IPhone. Also seen on the tape: the man breaking the window had extensive tattoos on his arm.

The victim in the case had an application on her IPhone which tracks the phone. She assisted detectives in tracking the phone to a trailer in a Homestead Trailer Park. It showed the phone to be in a back bedroom of the trailer. Detectives went to the trailer and knocked on the door. The woman who answered said the bedroom at the back belonged to her son, Fernando Ovalle. She said he wasn’t home, and she would not tell detectives where he was. They discovered, through investigations, that Ovalle drives a silver colored jeep. Pictures on Ovalle’s MySpace page show extensive tattoos on his arm matching those on the surveillance tape.

On Thursday, Sheriff’s detectives, with the assistance of Homestead Police, Miami-Dade Police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement went to the trailer where Ovalle is living in Homestead and served an arrest warrant on him. A search of the residence turned up a number of items which have been identified as coming from vehicle burglaries in Monroe County. He was taken into custody and booked into the Miami-Dade County jail. Monroe County investigations are continuing and more charges are expected. Detectives are also attempting to identify Ovalle’s accomplices in the crimes he has committed here. Cases are being investigated by Detectives Frank Gaete, Barney Sajdak and Ralph Williams.

Anyone with information about Ovalle, or any information about people committing vehicle burglaries in the Keys, should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made on line at http://www.tipsubmit.com/.

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