RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. -- A Riviera Beach teen is accused of stealing a rifle from an unmarked Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) vehicle.
A PBSO deputy parked the unmarked vehicle at the rear of a business located at 4731 N. Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach for a period of just over 4 hours.
The deputy did not notice the vehicle had been burglarized when he returned, but once he arrived at home he noticed several items were missing, including a .223 caliber XM-15 Bushmaster patrol rifle owned by PBSO, along with three black polymer rifle magazines, a black Highcom Security ballistic helmet, a black gas mask, and a blue rubber Glock training gun.
Boynton Beach police observed surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses and a search revealed two males. Boynton Beach police say the two males were seen in the surveillance footage approximately less than 10 feet from where the victim's vehicle is located.
On August 15, 2018, Boynton Beach police were dispatched to 100 Meadows Circle after the property manager of Meadows on the Green notified police that a duffel-type bag had been found with police-type equipment inside.
The equipment was found approximately 250 yards away from where the victim's vehicle was burglarized.
The property manager told police that a black male, Fabrice Derilus, had been seen loitering around the building where the stolen items were found.
Police say Derilus was a person of interest in this case and has a lengthy arrest history. When Derilus spotted officers approaching him, he fled. But officers located him shortly after at his residence.
Post-Miranda, Derilus told officers he was aware of the burglary, including the theft of the rifle, and provided detectives with the name of a witness he said had personal knowledge of the crime.
Detectives made contact with two witnesses who said they were hanging out with their friend, later identified as the 17-year-old suspect, when two men matching the description of the individuals seen by detectives on surveillance footage, approached them and told the suspect that they stole the items from an unlocked police vehicle.
Detectives discovered that the suspect's mother owned a red 2003 Saturn matching the description of the vehicle seen on surveillance footage. Boynton Beach police issued a "be on the lookout" (BOLO) notice for the vehicle.
Riviera Beach police spotted the vehicle on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at approximately 1:55 p.m.
A Riviera Beach police officer says the suspect exited the residence at 972 Tortuga Lane in Riviera Beach and began yelling at officers to get away from his vehicle.
A detective received information that the suspect was on Instagram live with a black AR-15 rifle in hand and making comments about having the gun in the house. Police viewed videos of the suspect on his Instagram account that showed him with the rifle in his hands, dancing and rapping to music. Another video on his Instagram account showed the Riviera Beach police vehicles in front of his house.
A copy of the video was sent to the victim, who was able to confirm by unique markings on the rifle that could be seen in the video, that this was indeed the stolen rifle.
On Saturday, August 18, 2018, a search warrant for the suspect's residence was signed by a judge. A search of his residence revealed the stolen AR-15 under the mattress in the suspect's bedroom. Officers also found three .223 caliber magazines (2 loaded) and a black stun gun.
The 17-year-old suspect was arrested and transported to the Boynton Beach Police Department. He was later transported to the Palm Beach County Juvenile Assessment Center.