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BSO HAULS IN TWO-THIRDS OF A DISTRACTION THEFT TRIO Detectives search for third suspect

BSO Case Number: LS02-12-00340 & LS02-12-00341
PIO Number: 03-01-4
Date: Thursday, January 2, 2003
Time: 2130
Place of Occurrence: Falls at Marina Bay Apts., 2520 Marina Bay Drive East, Fort Lauderdale

Victim(s):

  • Alice Metzner, 92, 5/24/10, 246 Bombay Ave., & Mary Weber, 79, 12/11/23, 1431 Ocean Blvd.

Suspect(s):

  • Vince John Miller, 27, 7/08/75, 5797 N. Elston Ave., CHICAGO
  • Sheila Miller, 27, 11/02/75, 5797 N. Elston Ave., CHICAGO
  • One unidentified female (STILL AT LARGE)

Description of Incident:

A tip phoned in to Crime Stoppers assisted Broward Sheriff's Office detectives with the arrest of a family crime team of two that, along with an unidentified female, victimized two elderly women from Lauderdale-By-The-Sea during a distraction theft last month.

Vince Miller, 27, and his cousin Sheila Miller, also 27, were picked-up yesterday at the Falls Marina Bay Apartments in Fort Lauderdale. A vigilant resident, who recognized the duo after seeing their picture in a local newspaper, phoned in a tip to Crime Stoppers. After being questioned and identified by the elderly victims, both were placed under arrest.

Shortly before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18, 2002, 92-year old Alice Metzner was working in her front yard at 246 Bombay Avenue when a dark-colored vehicle stopped in the street. A man and a woman got out of the car. The woman claimed to be feeling ill and asked to use Ms. Metzner’s bathroom. The elderly victim let the couple into her home and waited in the living room while the crooked pair went into the woman’s bedroom.

Minutes later, not far from the Metzner home, Mary Weber answered a knock at her door at 1431 S. Ocean Boulevard. When the 79-year old woman answered the knock, a man and woman said their aunt lived in the same complex and they were interested in getting her a holiday decoration identical to the one on Weber’s door.

The suspects waited in the kitchen while Ms. Weber looked for the address of the store where she had purchased the decoration. After a few minutes, the couple told the elderly woman not to bother, and left.

Both victims later discovered that they had been robbed. Ms. Metzner checked her purse only to discover about $30.00 dollars in cash and a bankcard was missing. Ms. Weber noticed her pocketbook missing, along with $400.00 in cash, a credit card, and a cell phone.

BSO detectives were able to release surveillance video recorded at the Target store at 14075 Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami Beach. On the tape, recorded about two hours after the thefts, the family duo and another woman can be seen going on a shopping spree using the victims’ money and credit.

The Millers, who are charged with Grand Theft and Exploitation of the Elderly, are being held on a combined $11,000 bond.

Photographs of the suspects are attached to this news release as it is posted on the Broward Sheriff's Office website at www.Sheriff.org

INVESTIGATORS: Det. A. DelPozzo, CI, D-13
THIS REPORT BY: Liz Calzadilla / PIO 1/3/03 12:00 p.m.

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