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2 arrested on burglary charges

By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter

Two people were arrested June 26 after they allegedly broke into three vehicles and tried to unlock the front door of an occupied home in Holmes Beach.

Lee Taylor Bergeron, 18, homeless, faces charges of attempted unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling, unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling and three counts of unarmed burglary of a conveyance.

Bergeron’s alleged 16-year-old accomplice faces two counts of burglary to a conveyance.

On June 23, an HBPD officer responded to a report that a man and his wife were awakened around 1 a.m. by the sound of something being inserted into the front door lock of their home in the 400 block of 72nd Street.

The couple told police they jumped out of bed when they heard someone jiggling the handle.

The woman looked out the door and saw a male running from the property, the report said. She later told police the man was wearing stonewashed jeans.

Officers searched the area but did not find a suspect. They did, however, note that two vehicles parked on the same block had been burglarized.

Loose change had been removed from both vehicles, and keys were missing from inside the couple’s Ford Explorer SUV, the report said.

One of the officers noticed that the home across the street had surveillance cameras posted outside. He asked the resident if he could review the tapes to try to identify the burglars.

A review of the tapes revealed two males near the cars. Not only had the two vehicles parked across the street been burglarized, but the surveillance video caught a man, later identified as Bergeron, enter his Ford F150 parked in his driveway, collecting any loose.

Bergeron also allegedly broke into the man’s outdoor tiki bar area and looked around using a flashlight, the report said.

The video showed Bergeron and another male, known to an HBPD officer, leave the scene.

During an interview with police, the juvenile suspect said he stood by while Bergeron entered locked cars to collect change. When Bergeron discovered the keys inside the parked vehicles, he tried to enter the adjacent residence in order to steal keys for another car so boys “could drive it to a party in town,” the report stated.

The juvenile said the they “got spooked” when the residents of the home awoke and they noticed several marked patrol cars in the area. He told police they dumped the keys in a nearby lot.

HBPD officers asked the juvenile to take them to the lot where the keys were discarded. They reportedly located the keys and returned them to their owner.

While Bergeron admitted to trespassing, he did not admit to the burglaries, the report stated.

However, police identified Bergeron by matching the tattoos on his arms from the surveillance video to photos on his Facebook page.

Bergeron was arrested and taken to Manatee County jail, where he is being held on a $10,500 bond. His arraignment will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, July 11, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

The 16-year-old was taken to the juvenile detention center.

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