What appeared to be a sophisticated burglary of more than $30,000 worth of cellphones and tablets ended in a blunder for two burglars, authorities say.
The two men sawed their way into a Greenacres cellphone store, stole more than 90 devices and vanished in their getaway car. What they likely didn’t know: One of the devices they had just stolen — made to resemble a cellphone — was a decoy equipped with GPS.
The device allowed officers to track the thieves’ movements as they drove across town. Greenacres police learned the suspects’ exact location, pulled their car over and arrested them, police said.
Police said the burglary started on the roof of the AT&T Prime Communications Cellular Store at 6748 Forest Hill Blvd.
That’s where police said the two men — Gennier Perez-Gonzalez, 32, of West Palm Beach, and Osniel Labrada-Guillen, 29, of Miami Gardens — used a power tool to cut their way into the business about 3:30 a.m.
A security company called police when the decoy had its alarm triggered. The decoy was being monitored remotely by the company, allowing an officer to learn where the device was headed.
The suspects’ car traveled north on Jog Road before turning east on Forest Hill Boulevard. The officer was told the device was passing him as he watched a lone vehicle go by and turn onto the southbound entrance ramp to Interstate 95.
Two officers then got the driver of the car to pull over to the shoulder between Lantana Road and Hypoluxo Road.
When the car stopped, the device indicated to the security company that it, too, had come to a rest. That helped confirm that the device was inside the suspects’ vehicle, according to the report.
Nine iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy 5 boxes were seen in the back seat of the car. When an officer opened the trunk, he said, he found 88 devices — along with the decoy device.
A security video system recorder, an angle grinder with a blade and other tools also were found in the trunk, according to the report.
Police described the men as sweating profusely, nervous and covered in debris, as if they had recently cut something with a metal disc. A total of 98 devices valued at $34,869 were found in the car, police said.
Both men face charges of burglary, larceny, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tool. Perez-Gonzalez was held in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $110,000 bail. And Labrada-Guillen was held in lieu of $86,000 bail.