CLEWISTON -- Only two short days after multiple vehicle burglaries were reported within the Fairgrounds Trailer Park on July 15, one of Clewiston Police Department’s finest made an arrest of the suspect, nabbing him with a vehicle full of stolen merchandise.
After viewing surveillance video of the burglaries, Clewiston Police Officer Tico Salgado initiated a traffic stop of the suspect on July 17, uncovering women’s handbags, various tools, an electric mini-bike, video game consoles, identification cards, driver’s licenses, backpacks and other items in the back seat and rear cargo area.
“We are clearly confident that this was our vehicle burglar from the ton of things stolen from Leigh High Acres,” Interim Chief Thomas Lewis said.
Sgt. Willie Roberts notified the Lee County Sheriff’s Office where it was confirmed that the items recovered were those reported stolen from recent vehicle burglaries in the Lehigh Acres community.
Victor Manuel Bueno, 30, was arrested and charged with vehicle burglary, theft, and fraud which Interim Chief Thomas Lewis said each charge carries up to five years maximum sentences if convicted. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
Lewis said he believes Bueno worked alone. He was released on a $72,500 bond. A court date has not yet been scheduled.
The Clewiston Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office are working closely to ensure that all property recovered are returned to their rightful owners.
Lewis credited Salgado’s sharp observation and years of law enforcement experience that made the arrest possible. Salgado came to Clewiston Police Department in March after 10 years with Glades County Sheriff’s Office.
Lewis said the surveillance video showed the suspect brazenly walk up to vehicles, open the door, grab items and quickly leave.
“Clewiston is a very safe place,” Lewis said, but things do happen and keeping vehicle doors locked and valuables out-of-sight will go a long way towards protecting one’s property.
For those fearing a burglar will break a car window to gain access to valuables in a locked car, Lewis said 95% of the time, burglars will choose an unlocked vehicle to quietly and quickly cover as much area as possible in as little time as possible.
This is considered an active investigation. If anyone has additional information concerning this case or if someone believes they have additional information regarding Victor Manuel Bueno, please contact the Clewiston Police Department at 863-983-1474 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and reference the case number.