It was a seven-hour manhunt after a high speed chase through two counties. Tuesday, the man behind both incidents, Victor Peel, was told his bond had been revoked.
Peel has a long criminal history dating back 25 years and has faced charges in Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties. He was wanted most recently on masked burglary charges.
For 17 years, Rashid Latif has owned the Marathon gas station at US 1 and Salerno Road south of Stuart. He’d never been a crime victim until he got a call from his alarm company last month.
“I was angry. I thought some kids had thrown something but they came inside but took the whole box over there… the cash register," said Latif.
An outside door was smashed, and the door behind the counter was broken.
Martin County detectives say Victor Peel was responsible. But while he had success at the Marathon, surveillance video showed Peel and a second man foiled in their effort to get into a Port St. Lucie store. They were thwarted by the hurricane glass.
After Monday’s manhunt, Martin County authorities thanking their fellow officers for their help.
“It’s really amazing how when law enforcement agencies from different regions get together it’s almost like we’re long lost family and mend as one," said Captain Brian Bergen with the Martin County Sheriff's Office.
Captain Bergen says Peel’s arrest was the result of cooperation, perseverance, and new technology.
First, the FLIR camera unit on the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s helicopter spotted Peel in the swamps off Northlake Boulevard.
“They were then able to deploy the drone that was able to go on top of suspect and use an infrared light to pinpoint where he was so ground units could see that with night vision goggles," said Capt. Bergen.
Rashid Latif had no idea that the man charged with ripping him off was now in custody, but he was thrilled to hear it.
“I’m not going to get anything back from them. But it feels good. They get whatever they deserve, they got it.”
Peel actually was dog sitting at the time of the chase. The dog, a terrier named Marley was eventually recovered after running from the scene and is back with its owner.