Broward County

One-handed burglar arrested and charged in Broward courthouse break-in

Joel Hooten
Joel Hooten

A man wanted for breaking into a Broward courthouse over the weekend turned himself in late Monday night, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Joel Hooten was arrested and charged with one count of armed burglary to an unoccupied building.

According to BSO, Hooten, who doesn’t have a left hand, used a bat to shatter a window at the North Regional Courthouse, 1600 W. Hillsboro Blvd., early Sunday morning.

When security guards arrived Monday morning they found the broken window and reviewed surveillance video. A man was seen entering several rooms before leaving. No items were reported missing.

On Monday, BSO released images of the man in hopes of identifying him.

BSO said Hooten, a painter by trade, told deputies he was assigned to work at the courthouse Sunday. But detectives learned Hooten had no reason to be there, according to BSO.

Carli Teproff: 305-376-3587, @CTeproff