BELLE GLADE – Over the past few months, the cities of Belle Glade, South Bay and Pahokee have experienced numerous vehicle burglaries, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The burglar smashed car windows to gain access to the vehicles, in most cases causing more damage to the vehicle than the value of the items stolen. In some cases the windows were smashed and nothing was stolen.
On April 16, PBSO detectives arrested Antwoine Johnson, 30, (aka “Gummy”) and charged him with 45 counts of vehicle burglary and theft.
PBSO reports the investigation is ongoing.
According to the PBSO records, on March 13, PBSO deputies were called to the Quiet Waters Assisted Living Facility on S.W. 10th Street in Belle Glade in reference to multiple vehicle burglaries in the parking lot.
The suspect apparently broke the front driver side window of Chrysler PT Cruiser. A Garmin GPS system was stolen from the vehicle. Damage to the window was estimated at $240.
Five other vehicles in the same parking lot also had windows smashed. Damages to a Chevy Impala and Nissan Sentra belonging to another individual were estimated at $692.
Detective S. Guido obtained video of the area from a security camera, but the video was poor quality. The face of the person in the video is not visible due to the darkness in the parking lot. The suspect can be seen using a flashlight to look inside vehicles, The suspect can also be seen using an unknown object to strike a car window, shattering it and then reaching inside the vehicle. When a pickup truck enters the parking lot, the suspect apparently hides out of view. After the truck exits, the suspect approaches another vehicle and smashes another window.
On April 10, PBSO deputies responded to a Canal Street complex parking lot in Belle Glade where two vehicle burglaries had been reported. The crime had apparently occurred during the night. A third vehicle burglary with the same Modus Operandi occurred in a nearby area that night.
The suspect broke the driver’s door window of a Kia Optima. The victim reported $600 in cash was taken and damage to the window was approximately $250.
A suspect also broke the passenger door’s window to gain access to a Chevrolet Malibu. Once inside the vehicle, the suspect apparently rummaged through the vehicle and its compartments but nothing was missing. The victim estimated it will cost $200 to fix the damaged window.
Also burglarized was a 2018 Kia Forte. The front passenger window was broken. Items reported missing from the vehicle were a pair of low top black leather size 12 Nike shoes, valued at $90 and $2 in U.S. currency. The victim estimated cost to repair the window at $210.
Detective Calivn Bowens obtained video from a security camera and found the footage captured one of the burglaries as it occurred. The video shows a suspect using a flashlight to look into several vehicles in the parking lot before walking towards the Kia Optima.
Still images from the video were used to create a “need to identify” bulletin, which was disseminated to law enforcement personnel who work in the area.
On April 12, PBSO deputies responded to a report of a vehicle burglary on N.W. 10th Street. The victim reported someone had broken the driver side front window sometime between 10 p.m. on April 11 and 9 a.m. on April 12. The center console appeared to have been searched, but nothing was taken. Damage to the window was estimated at $205.
Three other vehicles in the same area were also burglarized. The driver’s side window of a Black Dodge Durango was broken. Nothing was reported missing from the vehicle. Damage to the window was estimated at $285.
PBSO Detective S. Guido obtained video surveillance of the area. The video shows a black male, wearing a hooded sweater, jeans and sandals walking into he parking lot. The man has a cross body purse hung on his right shoulder and is carrying a flashlight. He approaches six different vehicles in the parking lot, shining the light into the windows.
On April 15, PBSO deputies responded to a report of a vehicle burglary on N.W. 10th Avenue in South Bay. The front passenger side window had been broken in a Toyota Tundra. Two wallets containing credit cards and a pouch containing checks were reported missing. Value of the stolen items was estimated at $100. Damage to the window was $263.
Detective Jesse Peters obtained surveillance video of the area. In the video, a black male, wearing a hooded sweater, jean shorts, slipper-type shoes approaches the vehicles. The suspect uses a flashlight to illuminate the interior of one vehicle as he walks by. Approximately two hours later, the suspect returns.
Detectives determined the suspect in video from N.W. 10th Street was the same person in the video from the Canal Street burglaries.
According to the PBSO report, Detective Bowens received anonymous, yet credible, information from members of the community identifying the person in the video as Antwoine “Gummy” Johnson.
On April 16, Johnson, who has no home address, was found inside an abandoned apartment on W. Avenue A in Belle Glade. He was arrested and charged with 45 counts of vehicle burglary and theft.