The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the early Saturday morning break-in at Palm Coast’s Flagler Chrysler Dodge dealership on State Road 100 near I-95.
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Deputies responded to the dealership just before 4 a.m. Saturday in response to an alarm. False alarms are legion in deputies’ logs. This wasn’t one of them. When deputies arrived, they found a Plexiglas window of the service department door had been forcibly removed and signs of entry into the building.
The burglar found a set of keys and started a car inside the service bay, but an inside padlock prevented the bay doors from opening. The burglar then fled the scene. Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to contact the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at (386) 313-4911.
In an unrelated incident, While on routine patrol in the Walmart parking lot on Cypress Point Parkway in Palm Coast, Sheriff’s Lt. Robert Weber noticed a man matching the description of a suspect wanted in connection with the theft of six X-Box Game Systems from the store on Dec. 10. While he watched, the man exited a White Ford Crown Victoria and entered the store.
While the man was inside, the electricity went out in the store. The man under surveillance had nothing to do with the power outage. Store management placed personnel at the entrances and exits of the store to check the receipts of customers who were leaving. Store personnel found a large screen television that had been left in a cart near one of the exits. The man and an accomplice are suspected of having abandoned the TV at the exit.
As the deputies waited in the parking lot, the man originally under surveillance, who was accompanied by a woman, returned to the vehicle. While pair waited, a second couple met them at the vehicle. The tag on the vehicle had been covered with a bag.
A traffic stop followed. The Walmart Asset Protection Coordinator positively identified the two men as having stolen $1,800 worth of X-Box systems in December. Deputies arrested Napoleon Hillman, 41, of Murray Street, and Marquis Sibley, 32, of Scriven Street, both from Jacksonville, on charges of felony retail theft. The two men are suspected of having swiped some $100,000 worth of merchandise from retailers between Jacksonville and Sanford.
They were taken to the Flagler County jail. Sibley was released after posting $15,000 bond. Hillman was being held Monday on $10,000 bond.
The protection coordinator said the two men are believed to be responsible for numerous retail thefts in at least five other Walmart stores.
The two women who were with the men were released at the scene when it was determined they were not involved in thefts.
Jacksonville was the common denominator in yet another incident, which may suggest an emerging trend for petty criminals: Palm Coast’s growing retail market may also be tastier bait for criminals.
Rachel Tatro, 27, of Hughes Street in Jacksonville was arrested early Sunday morning by deputies outside a Palm Coast hardware store where deputies believe she was helping to steal used appliances.
Tatro is charged with being an accessory to burglary and possession of burglary tools. Deputies said she backed a pickup truck between two semi-trailers behind Lowes Improvement Store on Cypress Edge Drive shortly before 4 a.m. Lowes uses those trailers to store used appliances.
She and two juveniles were spotted by deputies sitting in the running pickup truck, but a fourth person whom the woman described as her boyfriend fled the scene. The juveniles were released to their parents and Tatro was transported to the Flagler County Inmate Facility where she was being held on $10,000 bond.
Her boyfriend was identified as Julian Smallwood who is wanted on outstanding warrants from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Offices. JSO units went to Smallwood’s home on Hughes Street but were unable to locate him. They did find 40-50 used household appliances on his property.