A pair of bumbling burglars tried to make off with cellphones from a Pinecrest T-Mobile store early Thursday morning, except for this: The store has live surveillance, so the cops were called and the bad guys were nabbed swiftly.
Maidel Aguirre Menendez was caught in the van in which he tried to escape, police said. They already had his picture from the video, so matching it was easy after they pulled Menendez over on a small road next to a strip joint a couple of blocks north of the store.
Finding his partner, though, proved a bit more difficult.
Police had already cleared the scene at the store and were interviewing Menendez at the Pinecrest police station when he blurted out that he had a partner.
On a hunch, a Pinecrest officer went back to the T-Mobile store at 12537 S. Dixie Hwy., peeked around and began pushing up ceiling tiles.
There, sitting crouched next to an air duct, was Raiko Guerra Ramos, 26, police said.
Both men were charged with burglary and vandalism and escorted to the Turner Guilford Knight correctional facility near Doral.
According to the arrest affidavit, T-Mobile contacted Pinecrest police at 12:35 a.m. Thursday about a break-in. Pinecrest cops scrambled to the store, and Miami-Dade officers showed up with a K-9 unit.
Though the store seemed empty of people, a garbage bag on the floor was stuffed with more than $28,000 in cellphones. Burglary tools were there, too.
After nabbing Menendez, 27, within minutes — he was pulled over because the van didn’t have its lights on and had no tag — the duo’s plan unraveled quickly.
“He spilled everything,” said Pinecrest police spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree. “He said, ‘Yes, I was the getaway driver.’ And he said he was with a second person.”