A group of juveniles ranging in age from 13 to 17 burglarized cars, stole a car and bicycles and caused havoc on Plantation Key between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
One of the juveniles – 15 year old Richard Williams – has been charged with two counts of felony vehicle burglary and theft. A second juvenile – 16 year old Daniel Placide – has been charged with grand theft of a vehicle. Charges may be pending against others as the investigation continues.
Members of the group told Detective Ian Barnett they left the Children’s Shelter on Plantation Key at 9 p.m. Monday. After leaving, members of the group say they entered numerous unlocked cars and took money from inside. They went to Founder’s Park in Islamorada where they swam in the pool after closing hours. They took bicycles from bike racks at the park and scattered them throughout the park.
They entered one unlocked car – a 1998 Toyota - which had the keys in the ignition. They stole the car and drove it to Coral Shores High School, where they left it parked. They returned to the shelter at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Deputy Caridad Bellon responded to a vehicle burglary report Tuesday morning. The victim told her he’d been walking his dog in the early morning hours and heard juveniles swimming in the pool at the park. He said he went out to his car later and found bikes strewn around the park and his vehicle burglarized.
Deputies knew a group of juveniles had been reported missing from the shelter at the same time these crimes were taking place. When they began interviewing the juveniles, who had since returned to the shelter, they discovered the extent of their activities.
After interviews were conducted, Williams was charged with two counts of vehicle burglary and theft. Placide was charged with grand theft of an automobile. More charges may be pending against them and other members of the group.