MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Thinking outside the box did not work well for a Florida man accused of robbery.
The suspect was wearing a cardboard box on his head to conceal his identity as he robbed a phone repair shop in Miami Gardens, WTVJ reported. The only problem was that as the man smashed glass displays, the box fell off, revealing his identity. It was only a matter of time before he was identified and arrested, according to the television station.
Claude Vincent Griffin, 33, was arrested on Saturday and charged with grand theft, burglary, criminal mischief, cocaine possession and resisting an officer without violence, according to Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation online booking records.
Jeremias Berganza, the owner of Irepair Tech in Miami Gardens, said the suspect was caught on surveillance video stealing 19 iPhones and $8,000 in cash at about 4 a.m. Saturday, WTVJ reported. Berganza said that the loss totaled more than $15,000 as the man targeted the store three times, according to the television station.
During the theft, the clumsy culprit knocked off the box, which did not appear to have eyeholes, as he shoveled merchandise into a bag, WPLG reported.
“I had a laugh on my face (when I saw the video),” Berganza told the television station. “I was sad because it happened.”
According to an arrest report, Griffin allegedly targeted the store three times that night.
He was first seen on video wearing a mask, entering the store through a rear door and finding a pair of gloves, WPLG reported. Police said that Griffin went to a front counter and stole some scratch-off lottery tickets and several cartons of cigarettes, according to the television station.
Police said Griffin returned an hour later with the box on his head. He made a third trip to the store several hours later, spurning a box for a more traditional mask. He stole more iPhones and pried open a wall-mounted cash box, WPLG reported.
Berganza said the store’s security alarm never activated, according to the television station.
He said he asked other vendors to let him know if they saw the suspect, and at about 5:30 p.m. EDT, Berganza said that Griffin was drinking at a nearby liquor store, WTVJ reported.
Berganza called the Miami Gardens Police Department.
“Ten hours later after the break-in, (police) called me from the barber shop saying he was in front of the liquor store,” Berganza told WPLG.
Griffin remains in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center with bail set at $23,500, online jail records show.
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