A rubber mask of Barack Obama. A fighting knife. Brass knuckles. A loaded 9 mm handgun.
Police sensed two men were up no good — and they were sure of it after finding those items in the stolen car they were driving.
Coupled with the erratic driving of 31-year-old Jose Flores and 21-year-old Eudys De Jesus in the parking lot of the Town Center at Boca Raton — police say the items were enough to land the duo behind bars.
Just after 2 p.m. Tuesday, patrol officers noticed a red Chevrolet Impala with dark-tinted windows driving around a parking lot, randomly stopping and rolling forward again. Officers checked the Impala's tags and learned it had been reported stolen a day earlier.
The officers followed the vehicle, which continued to slow down, make random stops, turn around and pass many open parking spaces in the mall parking lot, near Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus. Back-up officers arrived a short time later, and a patrolman pulled the Impala over.
Flores, of West Palm Beach, and his passenger, De Jesus, of Lantana, both claimed they were looking for a parking space so they could shop at the mall.
But their claim didn't make much sense to police — because the men had passed dozens of open parking spaces without stopping.
While questioning the men, officers noticed a clown mask and Obama mask on the floor of the car, a pair of gloves next to De Jesus' feet and a folding fighting knife in the driver's door compartment.
De Jesus then admitted there was a loaded 9 mm handgun in the car.
As officers pulled the men over, De Jesus later told police, Flores took the gun out of the center console and put it under the driver's seat.
Officers found the silver and black Smith & Wesson handgun a short time later — as well as a pair of brass knuckles and a telescoping police baton. Flores claimed all the items belonged to a friend who had recently borrowed the car.
Police checked the gun's serial number and discovered it was stolen in 2009. Then searching De Jesus, officers found a baggie filled with cocaine.
Flores, who was convicted of felony possession of a stolen driver's license in 2005, and De Jesus, who is on probation for burglary, both told police they only intended to shop at the mall.
"De Jesus said that he has known Flores for a number of months and that they hang out often," the report says.
Flores allegedly told a different story.
"Flores told me that he has only known De Jesus for about a week and that he does not know him very well," an officer wrote in the report.
Officers then arrested Flores, charging him with possession a gun as a felon, possession of a stolen gun, carrying a concealed weapon and loitering and prowling.
De Jesus now stands charged with cocaine possession, loitering and prowling and violating probation.
Jail records show both men remained in Palm Beach County Jail Wednesday.
Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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