Articles Posted in Burglary

From the moment you awake in the morning to the second you lay your head down to go to bed, there will have been 550,000 shoplifting incidents in the U.S.

Although most think of shoplifting as one of the more “harmless” crimes, it is considered “retail theft” in the state of Florida. According to the Florida Senate, a person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to either temporarily or permanently:

(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.

As Hurricane Irma barreled through the Caribbean laying waste to all centers of population in its path, opportunities arose for those with criminal intent.

After the storm basically leveled the tiny island of Barbuda leaving much of the Island’s 1600 residents homeless the category five storm continued further west wreaking havoc on Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barts and the Virgin Islands. Up to ninety percent of the domestic and commercial structures on these islands were badly damaged or completely destroyed.

The storm then skimmed the northern coast of Puerto Rico producing a loss of power for more than one million of its residents but spared the island nation of its total force before setting its sights on the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Turks and Caicos along with the southernmost Bahamian Islands. It then grazed the coast of Cuba alternating between Category four and five status with its center of destruction correctly forecasted to turn north threatening the Florida Keys and the east coast of the state.

After a scare back in January when the Louisiana Supreme Court gave clearance for prosecutors to again give it their best shot to try to encourage a Louisiana state judge to revoke his probation, former Miami Dolphin Cecil “The Diesel” Collins finally won his freedom.

Collins had already served over thirteen years in prison after being convicted for a felony burglary charge that took place in Davie Florida on March 27, 2001 at the Palm Trace Landings apartment complex where he also lived.

Collins pleaded guilty to breaking into the apartment of Ronald and Tina Nolte, a married couple who lived in the gated community by climbing through their bedroom window at five o’clock in the morning. Before the incident occurred he apparently persistently stalked Mrs. Nolte, frequently asking her out on dates even though he knew she was married.

As his defense for the break-in, Collins was quoted as saying he only “wanted to watch her sleep.” After being arrested shortly after the incident occurred he told reporters “I just made a mistake.” He was released on $10,000 bond pending trial.

At trial, it didn’t take long. After being convicted of the crime he was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. The sentence was handed down less than two hours after the jury completed deliberations and convicted him of the crime. He spent most of his sentence at South Bay Correctional Institute, a two story building surrounded by the everglades.

In an interview with the Associated Press which he reluctantly agreed to, Collins said he granted it because he craved it to be known that “the Diesel is still alive.” He apparently had adjusted as well as possible during his stay at the prison. He showed up for daily therapy sessions, lifts weights, views many sporting events on TV and is involved in competitions in the recreation yard with other inmates. His overall appearance has drastically changed from the cornrowed hairstyle he sported during his trial to a crew cut and well-groomed goatee. He blames his criminal past on “bad choices” triggered mostly by his bad temper and substantial abuse of alcohol.

Collins has been free on $25,000 bond since July, 2013 when Louisiana State District Judge Mike Caldwell wouldn’t go along with a prosecutorial appeal to revoke Collins’ probation in Baton Rouge which originated from a similar but separate case that occurred in Louisiana in April 1999.

In that case, Collins was charged with forcing his way into the apartments of two women who lived in a local housing complex. He pleaded guilty to two counts of unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, both felonies as well as two counts of simple battery which are misdemeanors. The women both accused Collins of fondling them.

At sentencing for those two cases, Judge Caldwell handed down a suspended five-year prison term and basically a slap on the wrist by placing Collins on probation for a term of four years. The case concluded in 1998 but when he violated his probation in South Florida within the designated period he became subject to an additional five years of imprisonment based on the terms of his probationary sentence.

After thirteen and a half years of incarceration he was released from DeSoto Correctional Annex in Arcadia, Florida but immediately extradited to Baton Rouge to face the probation violation charge. But Judge Caldwell declined to revoke his probation apparently agreeing with Collins’ lawyer that his client had already been “significantly punished,” as Collins stood by listening with tears in his eyes. He was placed on three years’ probation and told that he could move freely back to the South Florida area if he chose to do so. He will also be subject to random drug testing and must regularly check in with an assigned parole officer.

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Kevin Madigan, 46, of Boca Raton, never expected to be under attack after he hurled a clay paving brick through the window of 73-year-old Charles Rieckman’s house in the course of his attempt to attain some of Mr. Rieckman’s cash or property which would assist in the funding of his crack cocaine habit.

Watching in horror as Madigan entered his home through the damaged window and snatched his flat-screen television, Rieckman ran into his bedroom, grabbed his 38 caliber pistol which he stored in a bedside nightstand drawer and then ran out of his house in hot pursuit of the intruder.
Once outside, he found Madigan brawling with his 70-yearld old neighbor Joan Thurmond, as she was making an effort to call 911. Seeing the battle in progress he then drew his weapon, opened fire, shooting five or six rounds at the perpetrator. At least a few bullets hit pay dirt but Mr. Rieckman didn’t know at the time if he wounded the suspect or not as he witnessed Madigan continue running to his parked silver Toyota Camry, get inside, start the vehicle and zip away, pilfering his T.V.

When police responded they asked Rieckman if he thought the robber knew he’d been hit. He replied “I don’t know if he knew or not .He stopped tussling with my neighbor, so maybe I hit him and that’s when he decided to take off because he was trying to get her phone and she held onto it.”

Ms. Thurmond was in front of her house when she heard the sound of glass shattering next door. When she saw Madigan, she started to shout that she was calling the police. After that the suspect attacked her.

“I was scared. I was very scared,” she said, but was still able to get through to 911. “We need help,” she roared to the 911 operator. “Ma’am, what’s going on?” the operator questioned. “Somebody’s shooting,” she continued. She went on to inform the operator that “There’s a guy with coal-black hair, heavy-set, with a white T-shirt. He left in a silver sedan car.” Her level-headedness in giving a proper description to the 911 operator assisted the police in finding the suspect and his vehicle.

The gunplay ended when Rieckman felt that the threat had concluded. “At that time I realized I was out of danger and so was Joan. I could have fired and flattened his tires.”

Mr. Rieckman, a retired high school math teacher, originally from New Jersey said it was the first time that he had ever fired a gun for personal defense. He bought the gun years before.

“I had never even shot it before,” he remarked. “Actually, I pulled the trigger and nothing happened. I didn’t remember I had to pull back on the clip, so I pulled back on the clip and it started shooting.”

Rieckman credits his former vocation as being partially responsible for saving the day. He mentioned that he’d tangled with tough guys before. “I used to be a teacher, which trains you to deal with incorrigibles.”

Police found Madigan a few miles away in Oakland Park, slumped over the wheel of his Camry which had crashed into some bushes near the intersection of N.E. 11th Ave. and 43rd St., according to sheriff’s spokesman Mike Jachles. He was bleeding but “his injuries were described as not life-threatening,” he said. “There was stolen property recovered, a TV among other things, in his vehicle.” He was taken to a Fort Lauderdale hospital in police custody to have his wounds attended to.

Last week, after being released from the hospital, Madigan was observed weeping and grimacing in pain as Broward Judge John Hurley set his bail at $216 thousand during his bond hearing.

At the hearing, a friend told the Judge that Madigan is a drug addict who needs treatment. She went on to comment that “When he is clean and sober, he is a decent human being” She also told the Judge that her friend was hit with four rounds: one in his stomach, his hand, a kneecap and on his shin.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office Madigan faces multiple charges, including burglary on an occupied dwelling, criminal mischief, strong-arm robbery and grand theft.

“It appears this was a justifiable shooting. Every indication is that the homeowner was defending himself, his property and his neighbor from being attacked by the intruder,” according to the Sheriff’s office spokesman.

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Surveillance video showed two men brandishing handguns, their heads covered by ski masks enter Renee’s Golden Touch jewelry store located at 6501 Taft Street in Hollywood this past Saturday, prompting two quick-thinking employees to flee through a back door but not before pressing an alarm that alerted authorities to the robbery in process.

During the heist, two customers were forced to the ground at gunpoint as the criminals’ emptied showcases and trays of items, later found to be valued between ten and twenty thousand dollars.

Erik Mobley a relative of one of the men who was “forced to the ground” at the time of the robbery, armed with his own gun, was outside the store when he noticed the two men exit. He pursued the blue Pontiac that acted as their getaway car, driven by a third man, and followed them on Johnson Street, observing jewelry being thrown out the car windows as he tried to chase them down. As Mobley continued his pursuit, the driver of the car appeared to lose control, and crashed on the 8300 block in Hollywood. After the collision, they again drove away only to again crash the vehicle at the 9400 block in neighboring Pembroke Pines.

With the help of an off-duty Miami Gardens police officer who was fortuitously present at the scene of the second crash, Mobley was able to subdue 27-year-old Mark McPherson, of Plantation, as the two other suspects took off on foot.

Still on the move they tried to break into a locked home near the crash site but were unable to gain access.

As the action continued to play out, a resident in the area noticed that the police activity had moved in proximity of his own backyard. Armed with his own firearm, he released his dogs which immediately started barking at a large box in the backyard which the homeowner used to store cushions. That box became the final hiding place of the two remaining perpetrators.

Noticing two men glancing at him from inside the box, the homeowner pointed his gun at them and then beckoned police to the area where the two suspects were attempting to hide.

The two gunmen identified as Travass Alexander Quinn, 22, of Fort Lauderdale and 17-year-old Malcolm Jones of Fort Lauderdale were arrested at the scene and reunited with McPherson, their third cohort. They were all charged with grand theft of more than $10,000 but less than $20,000 as well as robbery with a firearm. Quinn was additionally charged with attempted burglary of an occupied dwelling for his failed attempt of breaking into the above mentioned property.

Thankfully, nobody was injured and all of the jewelry was recovered from the theft.

Quinn was previously arrested in Kissimmee, Florida in January 2011 when he was only 19 years old. He and an accomplice, Willie Frank Morgan, were taken to the Osceola County Jail on charges of grand theft auto, occupied armed burglary, possession of burglary tools and resisting arrest without violence.

All Court appearances by Quinn for those offenses were either adjudicated “guilty no trial required” or “Nolle Prossed”, which is a Latin legal term that translates to a declaration made to the judge by a prosecutor in a criminal case either before or during trial, indicating that the charges in the case against the defendant(s) is being dropped.

To view the Osceola County Clerk of Courts Docket Entries for the previous charges against Quinn regarding his earlier offenses that have since been disposed click here.

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