Palm Beach Police: Man charged in January break-in tied to theft of Range Rover, BMW (2024)

A man previously arrested for a break-in at a Palm Beach home has now been connected to two other crimes on the island.

The 24-year-old Boynton Beach man was taken into custody in January after Palm Beach Police used cellphone data and camera footage from a Tesla used by the alleged thieves to tie the man to a Jan. 14 break-in at a home on Everglade Avenue. He was one of two people arrested in that case.

Now, Palm Beach Police Detective Stephen Buscemi has connected the Boynton Beach man to two stolen vehicles on the island, again using cellphone data and surveillance footage, police records show.

In the Everglade Avenue incident, the house's owners were home and woke up when one of their dogs started barking at a strange man in the early morning hours of Jan. 14, police records show. The man had come in through back door, and he grabbed items including two car keys from a table in the house before leaving through the same door.

Police said the man then went to a Ferrari that was parked in the home's driveway and tried unsuccessfully to take it. The man was able to take the homeowner's Range Rover, and the two other men who were with him drove away in the Tesla.

In addition, Lantana Police connected the same Boynton Beach man to a home break-in and stolen car in that town, on the same night of the home invasion on Everglade Avenue, court records show. In that case, the homeowner was asleep and did not know the men had been inside his garage and on his property until he reviewed his home's closed-circuit cameras the following morning, police said.

Cellphone records tie man to stolen cars

The two vehicles for which the man is now being charged were stolen from separate locations on the island just days before the break-in on Everglade Avenue, police records show.

The first was a 2023 black Range Rover taken from the south members lot of The Breakers resort on South County Road on Jan. 4, according to a police report. The Range Rover's owner told police he parked his SUV and left the keys inside, and when he returned, the car — worth $130,000 — was gone.

Buscemi contacted Range Rover's theft-prevention service, which tracked the vehicle's GPS to a Coca-Cola vending facility in Hollywood. Police later determined that was where the SUV's tracking system was disabled, the report said.

Security footage provided to Palm Beach Police by The Breakers showed a black BMW convertible parked next to the Range Rover. A man got out of the BMW and into the Range Rover, which then followed the BMW out of the parking lot, the police report said.

Palm Beach Police: Man charged in January break-in tied to theft of Range Rover, BMW (1)

The owner of the black BMW had rented the car to the Boynton Beach man, and the rental agreement was signed the day the Range Rover was stolen, police found. After receiving a warrant for the Boynton Beach man's cellphone records, Buscemi was able to place the man near The Breakers' main gate at the same time that the resort's security cameras recorded the BMW driving through that gate, the report said.

Just moments later, cellphone data would place the man in the lot where the Range Rover was stolen, at the moment it was taken, police said.

Buscemi used similar cellphone data to place the Boynton Beach man at the scene of another stolen car: a maroon 2022 BMW X7 SUV that was stolen Jan. 9 from a parking lot at the Royal Poinciana Plaza.

That car's driver said she and her aunt left the SUV in the parking lot and spent 30 to 40 minutes shopping before returning to find the BMW gone, police said. It's unclear from the report if the key was left inside the BMW before it was stolen.

Surveillance footage from town and shopping center cameras showed a white Audi pull up near the BMW, a man get out of the Audi and into the BMW, and then the BMW follow the Audi out of the parking lot and head out of town across the Royal Park Bridge, the report said.

The BMW's owner used his vehicle's app to track the stolen car to Hollywood, police said. Records showed the Audi had been rented to the Boynton Beach man, the report said.

When Buscemi received the man's cellphone records, they again placed him in areas that aligned with the stolen BMW and the rented Audi, as captured by surveillance cameras.

Technology's role in arrests

Buscemi was named the Palm Beach Police Department's Officer of the Quarter for the first quarter of this year, following his quick work to track down and arrest the two men for the Jan. 14 home invasion on Everglade Avenue.

The warrant he obtained for the Tesla's camera system was the first of its kind for any detective in Palm Beach County, the police department said.

"Technology plays a huge role in law enforcement investigations, as we live in a digitally connected world where everything from cellphones to vehicle infotainment systems to video surveillance is ever-present and packed with information," Palm Beach Police Chief Nicholas Caristo said.

Still, the information gained through technology wouldn't have value "without old-fashioned competent police work" like that done by Buscemi, Caristo told the Daily News.

"Detective Buscemi is both an absolute expert in this field and an incredible asset to both our community and others," Caristo said. "His ability to understand highly technical cases, develop great working relationships with other agencies, and to consolidate both of those things into an understandable case for a jury, is commendable."

The Boynton Beach man is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on charges related to all four crimes — the home invasion in Palm Beach, the two stolen vehicles and the break-in in Lantana — including unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling, burglary of an unoccupied structure, grand theft of a motor vehicle and burglary of an unoccupied conveyance.

Court records from Broward County show that the man is a known gang member who has been connected to stolen cars throughout South Florida. His bail is set at $355,000, according to jail records.

Palm Beach Police: Man charged in January break-in tied to theft of Range Rover, BMW (2024)

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