Florida Keys

Keys dad chases down burglar who was caught hiding under his son’s bed, cops say

Cha Jones
Cha Jones

A Key West family helped catch a burglar caught hiding underneath a child’s bed inside their home, police said.

Cha D. Jones, 25, of Key West, was arrested on charges of burglary, robbery and giving a false identification to a law enforcement officer at 9:19 p.m. Friday.

About an hour earlier, a 13-year-old girl called her father from home to tell him a man had broken in and was hiding under her brother’s bed, police said. The boy was away at school, according to the mother’s Facebook post about the incident.

The girl and her friend, also 13, were hiding in another bedroom that they locked, according to the police report. The father, Mark Phillips, at the time was a couple of blocks away.

“There were several other children inside the residence but they ran out of the house to go get help,” the report states.

While on the phone with her father, the girl said she heard the front door close and looked out the window to see the burglar jump a fence into the back of NYAH — Not Your Average Hotel — at 420 Margaret St.

Phillips arrived home and after he checked on his children, he went next door to tell hotel employees about the incident. They called 911 and Phillips returned home where he said the burglar, later identified as Jones, was in his driveway trying to steal a bicycle that had been parked in the side yard.

Phillips tried to grab Jones, who threw the bicycle at him, striking his torso, police said. The men fought and Phillips said he struck Jones several times and took him to the ground. But Jones was able to get up and run down the driveway. Phillips chased after him.

By that time, police were arriving.

Police said the two teen girls were crying and visibly upset.

“I explained to both girls that they had acted bravely and they should be very proud of themselves,” wrote Officer Kenneth Beerbower.

Jones is on probation for possession of cocaine. He told police he couldn’t remember anything that had happened because earlier in the day he had fallen and hit his head and that he suffers from memory loss.

“Jones also stated that he has multiple personalities that sometimes cause him to act out in bizarre ways,” Beerbower wrote.

Jones admitted giving the officers a false name at first, saying he believed he had an outstanding warrant but he did not, police said.