Three robbery suspects are ex-athletes

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — One of three young men — all former high school football players — captured in a mid-day home robbery in Lakewood Park on Thursday now is charged in the break-in of the Fort Pierce city manager's home the day before, according to Fort Pierce Police.

Some of the three played football at Fort Pierce Westwood High School and others at Fort Pierce Central High School, said St. Lucie County Sheriff's Lt. Jerry Rothman.

Andre Townsend, 18; Cameron Toombs, 19, and Timothy Smith, 20, all of Fort Pierce, were arrested Thursday after a high-speed chance that ended with their vehicle going into a ditch at Lakewood Park, sheriff's report show.

While investigating that crime, St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputy Todd Meslin found an X-box gaming system that, according to sheriff's reports, came from the home of City Manager David Recor, according to sheriff's reports.

Late Friday, Toombs, 19, of South Seventh Street, was charged with burglary and grand theft of Recor's home. Also arrested in that burglary was a fourth person, Sunny Shaw, 19, of the 1200 bock of Angle Road.

"Shaw told detectives that he, Toombs and another man" went into Recor's home sometime before midday, when Recor returned home and found his residence ransacked, police said.

Taken from Recor's home were the game system, a rifle, jewelry and a computer. His wife was out of town at the time and his two daughters, who live there, were at work.

The next day, a Lakewood Park man returning home around noon found that his home in the 7300 block of Hibiscus Drive was being ransacked and called 911. At the time his father was asleep in a back bedroom.

The robbers fled in a vehicle but a sheriff's deputy on duty in the area saw them and began a pursuit. The suspects' four-door Chevrolet hit speeds of up to 110 mph, going in and out of Lakewood Park, trying to elude deputies, the reports stated.

The men were captured after the driver lost control and the vehicle went into a canal at the intersection of West Seminole Road and Santa Clara Boulevard. One was bitten by a sheriff's search dog and attempted to drown it, officials said.

Inside the suspects' car were a digital camera, gloves, a safe, a DVD player, jewelry, a computer laptop and a Social Security card belonging to one of the victims, reports say.

Investigators quoted Townsend as saying he and the two others drove up to the home on Hibiscus Drive and he knocked on the door. Then they went in through a rear window.

Smith said he was at the burglary but didn't participate. Toombs refused to talk, according to reports.

Townsend, Toombs and Smith also are linked to a burglary in Indian River County, said Rothman. A safe found in the getaway car is from a home in Indian River County that was ransacked.

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