February 27, 2015

Burglary in Islamorada results in two arrests

A burglary in Islamorada Thursday afternoon resulted in the arrest of two people and the recovery of jewelry stolen from the home.

The victim came home to his Preston Street residence about 12:35 p.m. and found his front door locked. He said he knew something was wrong because he never locks his doors. He walked around and entered through the back door, and saw a man inside his house. When he yelled at him, the man fled from the house.

The victim said he saw the suspect – later identified as 28 year old Keith Knespler – ride a “long board” style skateboard to the nearby Dion’s convenience store. The victim followed on a bicycle. An employee in the store told him Knespler met up with a woman wearing a red shirt. Another witness said she had seen the two flee in a silver colored PT Cruiser.

A notice to be on the lookout for the vehicle was issued over police radios. Deputies Dave Campbell and Cody Kerns spotted the car northbound on the highway, but were unable to catch up to it due to traffic. They lost sight of it, but found the car a short time later parked in Harry Davis Circle. It appeared to be unoccupied, but when the deputies checked inside, the two suspects had reclined the front seats and were hiding.

Knespler and 26 year old Stacey Legate, both from Jupiter, Florida were identified by the victim and by one of the witnesses. They were arrested. The jewelry they stole – including four Rolex watches – was recovered and returned to the owner. Knespler was charged with burglary and grand theft; Legate was charged with being a principle to the crime of burglary and with grand theft. They were both booked into jail.

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