When Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies noticed that six burglaries had taken place near Northlake Boulevard and Hamlin Boulevard in suburban Loxahatchee in about a 10-day span earlier this year, they decided to set up surveillance.
Since that surveillance in early May, at least seven people have been arrested, with all facing burglary charges, among others.
In fact, in one arrest report, it was noted that in four of the six burglaries, members of a Riviera Beach gang called the Fire House Clique pawned "one or two pieces of the victim's jewelry immediately after the burglaries in an apparent attempt to get quick cash."
The idea for the surveillance started April 27 when, according to an arrest report, deputies were called to a house in the 9000 block of 170th Avenue in suburban Loxahatchee to reports of a burglary.
A 58-year-old woman told deputies that she left home about 11 that morning and when she returned at about 5:30 p.m. she found her front door had been pried open. She said the house's owner was out of town at the time.
Stolen were a 50-inch Plasma TV, a laptop, a hair dryer, a Michael Jordan baseball card, and three Emmitt Smith rookie cards. Also missing were prescriptions for Tramadol, Hydrocodone and Tizan, as well as two pairs of gold earrings and two gold women's rings. The stolen property was valued at $4,490, the affidavit says.
When detectives noticed the home was one of many burglarized from April 27 to May 7, the sheriff's office set up surveillance.
On May 7, a deputy spotted a two-door silver Honda drive by the area where the other burglaries took place. The car, which looked similar to a car seen by a witness during a May 2 burglary, circled the area multiples times during a 10-minute period.
At one point the car sped away, and authorities gave chase. When sheriff's deputies caught up with the car, the occupants fled the car and ran toward a wooded lot.
They were eventually found and identified as Sharrod Dunston, 18, and De'Andre Burgess, 19 and Dontrecia Jackson, 21, according to the arrest affidavit. All three are from the Riviera Beach area. Deputies searched the car and located a pawn receipt for some of the items that were reported missing from the April 27 burglary. On the receipt was the name of Jackson's sister, Ti'Asha Wingfield. Wingfield was eventually arrested and accused of pawning property reported stolen during the April 27 burglary. She faces charges of burglary, grand theft, criminal mischief, dealing in stolen property and fraud.
Jackson later told detectives that they had gone to Loxahatchee specifically to commit a burglary, the arrest report stated.
Burgess and Jackson were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and resisting an officer without violence for the May 7 incident. Dunston, however, was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, assault on a law enforcement officer and two counts of resisting an officer with violence.
Since then, the two men have been arrested on similar charges.
Burgess was arrested July 4 on charges of burglary with assault and possesion of a firearm by a felon in connection to a Riviera Beach burglary.
Dunston was arrested May 29 on burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief charges stemming from a suburban Palm Beach Gardens burglary the same day. Two others, Johnny Thomas, 18, of suburban Palm Beach Gardens, and a juvenile were listed as co-defendants in the case. There was no indication in the arrest report whether the co-defendants are part of the Riviera Beach gang.
Most recently, PBSO arrested Dunston Tuesday on charges ranging from armed burglary to criminal mischief. This time the arrest was in connection to an April 30th suburban Loxahatchee burglary. A co-defendant, Bobby Coe, 21, of Riviera Beach, was listed in the report.
As of late Friday afternoon, Dunston was being held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $99,000 bail. Burgess was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail. Thomas is being held in lieu of $18,250 bail.