News from BSO

PHONY PHONE THIEVES TARGETING HOTELS

BSO Case Number:
PIO Number: 01-9-10
Date: 8/29/01 and others
Time: varies
Place of Occurrence: Deerfield Beach, Hollywood, Miramar, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, West Palm Beach, Miami Springs, Coral Gables, Orlando, Tampa

Victim(s):

  • Numerous hotels throughout Florida

Suspect(s):

  • 2 unknown white males, 30s – see attached photos

Description of Incident:

The Broward Sheriff's Office is releasing video tape of two phony phone men who have plagued hotels throughout Florida, stealing thousands of dollars worth of telephone circuit boards.

Detectives from several agencies have viewed the video, some recorded last Wednesday, and have confirmed that the same two suspects have committed all the thefts. The suspects wear “A,T&T” polo shirts, enter the hotel and go to the utility room, where they remove the telephone circuit boards. The boards look like computer memory cards, about 18 inches long, and costing about $1500 each. On August 29th, the thieves stole 18 boards worth $25,000 from the Deerfield Quality Suites. Investigators believe the hot phone boards are being resold to unscrupulous installers and contractors.

When the circuit boards are stolen the telephones in all the guest rooms go dead. Inevitably, hotel guests start walking into the lobby to complain and the “problem” is discovered, but by that time the thieves are miles away.

The crooks were captured on tape in the lobby of the Quality Suites at 1050 E. Newport Center Dr. in Deerfield Beach. They were also photographed at the nearby Extended Stay America hotel at 1200 SW 11 Way in Deerfield. The pair fled there empty-handed after a clerk said she was going to call the corporate office because no telephone system work had been authorized. Additional photos of the suspects walking down a hotel hallway in Miami Springs are also being released.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the phony phone men are asked to call CrimeStoppers at (954) 493-TIPS or Detective Jeremy Hansen at BSO’s Deerfield Beach station at (954) 480-4300.

INVESTIGATORS:
THIS REPORT BY: Det. J. Hansen, Dist. 10 Jim Leljedal / PIO 9/7/01 1030

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