Man arrested in Beach hotel theft admits to 13 more

 

sbushra@miamiherald.com

Miami Beach Police arrested a suspect Thursday in a month-old burglary case, only to find that he was wanted by six other police departments and was responsible – by his own admission - for 14 other burglaries in Miami Beach alone.

“He was proud of his accomplishments to say the least,” Vivian Hernandez of the Miami Beach Police said to Miami Herald news partner CBS4.

Dequan Johnson, 32, was arrested Thursday afternoon after two detectives who were conducting surveillance tracked him to the Aventura Mall,according to a press release.

Johnson, of Miami Gardens, was brought in for questioning in connection with a June 8 burglary at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa Hotel where $20,000 in cash, jewelry, and electronics were stolen.

According to the report, Johnson walked into a room that a maid was cleaning, flashing a hotel card and telling the maid that it was his mother’s room.

After the maid finished and left, Johnson took off with $1,800 in cash, $10,000 in jewelry, an iPad and Chanel purse.

The room’s actual residents, Brazilian tourists Aparecida Pata, 58, and Denize Ferreira, 73, returned from breakfast to find their room ransacked.

Miami Beach Police caught a break when they obtained hotel security camera footage of the suspect leaving the building.

After he was arrested and read his Miranda rights, Johnson confessed to the other burglaries.

According to the 14 affidavits detailing the confessions, the burglaries follow a similar pattern of deception throughout Miami Beach apartments and hotels.

“He had different encounters with either maids or housekeepers,” Hernandez said in the interview with CBS4. “He would tell them, basically lie to them, that he was either staying in the room or the guests were relatives of him.”

Johnson was charged with 11counts of Burglary and 12 counts of grand theft.

Several other departments – including Miami-Dade, Coral Gables, Sunny Isles, Sunrise and Palm Beach – will be able to clear burglaries, according to the Miami Beach release.

Records show that Johnson has been burglarizing since at least 1997. He has served nearly five cumulative years in prison for various offenses and was most recently released in March 2011 after serving a two-and-a-half year sentence.

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