Miami Springs police arrested a car burglary suspect recently in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express in the 5100 block of Northwest 36th Street.
Frederick Rolle, 37, who said he was homeless, was initially charged with loitering and prowling and theft, but an investigation revealed that some of the items in Rolle’s 1999 Audi had been stolen in car burglaries around Miami-Dade County. The suspect also was wanted by both Opa-locka and Hialeah police.
According to a report, Detective Harry Mayer was on a stakeout, sitting in an unmarked car in the parking lot of the IHOP at the corner of South Drive and Northwest 36th Street. As Mayer watched, Rolle backed into a parking space about 20 feet from the detective, got out and peered into two different vehicles.
“He cupped his hands around his eyes and I knew he was trying to see what was inside,” said Mayer. “I wanted to catch him breaking into a car.”
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However, Rolle got back into his car, drove into the adjoining Holiday Inn parking lot and backed in directly behind Mayer’s car. The two vehicles were separated by only a four-foot hedge.
“I knew he would see me if I got out,” said Mayer, “so I called in the troops.”
Standing by in the area were two marked patrol cars and a motorcycle officer, so they blocked Rolle’s vehicle and he was arrested.
During an inventory of Rolle’s vehicle, police found gloves, hammer, laptop computer, five cell phones, notepad, car radio, new women’s clothing and a $275 pair of men’s jeans with the tag still attached. Mayer later located two people who said some of the items had been stolen from their vehicles.
Wags was the original restaurant at South Drive, but it went out of business and was replaced by IHOP. “It’s a sit-down restaurant and people are in there longer than if they were in a fast-food place,” said Mayer. “We’ve been hit there a lot lately.”
Historically, vehicle burglars have zeroed in on the IHOP lot for several reasons:
▪ Many vehicles are rentals driven by tourists and they have a lot of expensive belongings.
▪ If loot is recovered, tourists won’t come back for a court appearance.
▪ The parking lot is behind the restaurant and patrons can’t see their vehicles while dining.
▪ Thieves can make a quick getaway and go east, west or north.
“Rolle has an extensive criminal past,” said Mayer. “I’m just glad we got him off the streets.”