Hialeah

How a GPS unit led police to stolen drugs — and 3 suspects

Surveillance video capture two men as they break in and rob a Hialeah Walgreen's. Hialeah detectives arrested three men in connection with the crime.
Surveillance video capture two men as they break in and rob a Hialeah Walgreen's. Hialeah detectives arrested three men in connection with the crime. Hialeah Police Department

Greed was good for Hialeah police tracking a group of robbers who hit a Walgreens in Thursday’s predawn hours.

Surveillance video caught two men prying open the front door of the store at 7605 W. 33rd Ct. around 4:25 a.m. Once inside, their greed came into play. They bypassed vitamins, hair dye, specialty soaps, even the really pricey stuff — razor blades — and went for the pharmacy.

The duo made off with $3,576 worth of prescription drugs. But that haul included a drug with an anti-theft GPS device that, say, Mach 3 razor blades don’t carry. The device got tossed near the Walgreens, but it had already sent its location to police.

Then, the device gave up fingerprints, police say, belonging to Jonluis Labadie, 17, of Miami. Police said that after they arrested Labadie, he gave up Raul Ponce, 17, of Miramar, as his robbery teammate and Emmanuel Gonzalez, 19, of Miami as the current holder of the loot.

A search of Gonzalez’s home turned up a duffel bag with 16 bottles of controlled prescription drugs belonging to the Walgreens pharmacy.

Gonzalez was charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure and possession of stolen property. Labadie and Ponce face four charges: burglary, grand theft, criminal mischief causing over $1,000 of damage (the front door and pharmacy door cost $3,500 combined), and illegal possession of prescription drugs with intent to distribute.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

  Comments