A Pensacola woman, Ashley Taylor Wright, has been arrested after authorities say they tried arrest her for shoplifting and she threw the baby at a deputy as she tried to escape.
One guy said they were there because he had to call his girlfriend. Another guy told cops they got lost. The third said he smoked a lot of weed, fell asleep and didn't know where he was.
That's what each of three burglary suspects said to a Boca Raton police officer when he quizzed them about why they were driving slowly around the LA Fitness parking lot Monday afternoon.
The lot has been the scene of a rash of thefts from cars in recent weeks.
It's evident that neither Ernest Paul Jennings, 22, and Thadeus Jennings, 31, both of Sunrise, nor their friend Adolphus L. Munden, 30, of Fort Lauderdale, were there to tone their pecs, police said.
The stench of marijuana wafted thick when Police Officer James Rae Brown Jr. pulled up to their car. Ernest Jennings' jeans were down around his knees, exposing the fly of his boxers.
"I immediately detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the car's interior," Brown wrote in his arrest report. Looking into the car, he could see a woman's plastic cosmetic case.
Brown was alerted to the trio's white Chevy Cruze while patrolling the theft-prone lot because the car's Florida license plate was actually registered to a maroon GMC SUV owned by Hertz. Its passenger windows were also tinted black to the point that Brown couldn't see into the car.
Brown noted in his arrest report that a recent modus operandi of thieves in Boca Raton has been to rent newer model rental cars with out-of-state tags. The rental cars are then affixed with extremely dark window tint, which is then removed when the car is returned.
Because of the rental tags, Brown ordered the car to stop and approached.
Munden was wearing a yellow traffic vest. According to Brown, burglars in Boca Raton have been recently spotted wearing traffic vests, presumably to look legit while they case parking lots.
Cops also found a window punch — a tool used to break car windows — in Munden's pocket. They found broken glass in Thadeus Jennings' pocket.
When police separated the three, Ernest Jennings told Brown that the men pulled into the parking garage so that he could call his girlfriend.
Munden told Brown that the three ended up in the parking garage because they had gotten lost and decided to use a cellphone GPS device.
Finally, Thadeus Jennings told police that all three had been driving around Fort Lauderdale while smoking weed in the car. Thadeus said he fell asleep and "didn't know where he was."
"Investigations revealed multiple inconsistencies in the stories," Brown wrote.
Police looked in the car and found numerous items including women's sunglasses, jewelry and change purses, along with a second window punch.
Police issued Ernest Jennings a citation for both the illegal plates and for the too-dark window tints.
Both Ernest Jennings and Munden also had active Broward Sheriff's Office warrants — Jennings for possession of a controlled substance and Munden for failure to appear.
All three were arrested and charged with possession of burglary tools, possession of marijuana, and loitering.
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