Florida Keys

A Homestead man drove down to the Keys to remove safes with $57,000 and guns, cops say

Dieuson Benoit
Dieuson Benoit

A Homestead man was arrested this week on burglary charges after police said he broke into a Key West pawnshop a year ago and helped remove two safes.

One safe contained more than $57,000 in cash, and the other held two handguns.

Dieuson Benoit, 21, was one of three men who drove from South Miami-Dade to Key West with a plan to break in to the Liquid 8 Pawn Shop, 1970 N. Roosevelt Blvd. They brought along a 17-year-old girl, who became an eyewitness for Key West police.

The men arrived in Key West after 1 a.m. in a car stolen from Hollywood, police said.

After leaving the pawnshop, they took off speeding up the Keys and were stopped by the sheriff office's tire spikes laid across the highway. But all three men jumped out of the car while it was still moving and fled while the girl was detained by deputies.

Two of the men left behind their cellphones, and detectives found photographs and Facebook accounts that led them to a second suspect, Andrew M. Mitchell, 18, of Lauderhill. The girl identified Mitchell as one of the three men involved in the burglary, but she couldn't identify a third suspect police showed her in a photo lineup.

Benoit was arrested June 12 on charges of felony burglary, felony larceny, grand theft of a firearm and misdemeanor trespassing in the May 17, 2017, crime in which two safes and some gold rings were stolen from the pawnshop.

The burglars smashed two glass panes of a sliding door in the back to enter the office of pawnshop owner Rick Igo. Igo's safe contained the $57,000 and various prescription pills, according to the arrest report.

A second safe belonged to Theo Derluth, an employee of the shop, and it held two handguns — a .25 caliber Beretta and a Glock 17.

The report doesn't indicate that the burglars opened either safe. Benoit is the only suspect in the crime who has been arrested.