Investigation into Immokalee teen's crime spree in South Florida continues, deputies say

Deputies search for teenage fugitive's accomplice in Broward

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies released surveillance video Thursday showing an accused burglar in Cooper City.

COOPER CITY, Fla. – Detectives are searching for a teenage boy Thursday night, whose accomplice was caught Wednesday in Cooper City. The two are accused of a crime spree in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. One is wanted in Collier County for other crimes.

When Broward Sheriff's Office deputies arrested the 16-year-old suspected thief, deputies reported finding Oksana Safrane's stolen Pennsylvania driver's license and four of her credit cards in the front pocket of his shorts.  

The high school student is from Immokalee, an agricultural community growing over one-third of the nation's tomatoes. Deputies reported his address as the Farm Workers Village, a predominantly Haitian migrant community of farm workers who earn low wages. 

Collier County Sheriff's Office deputies were searching for the teen over pending charges of fleeing and eluding police, grand theft auto and resisting arrest without violence. BSO deputies believe he and an accomplice were traveling in a 2018 Ford F-150, which was reported stolen in Miami-Dade County. 

"He waived his right to legal counsel agreeing to speak about this investigation," BSO Deputy Christopher Neves wrote in his Jan. 2 arrest report. 

The teen confessed to the burglaries in the area of Rock Creek in Cooper City, according to Neves' report. Deputies released surveillance video Thursday showing his accomplice running while wearing socks, shorts and a hoodie. He appeared to be carrying a red backpack. 

The deputies almost caught his accomplice. After a standoff at a home in Cooper City Wednesday, Gina Carter, a Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said the teen's accomplice ran into a home's open garage and deputies used thermal imaging to find him hiding in the attic. But he somehow got away.

The detectives did help two people to recover their belongings. 

Safrane lost her driver's license and her credit cards when thieves broke into her 2016 Toyota 4-Runner. Thieves also broke into a red 2012 Toyota 4-D, which belongs to her neighbor Carlos Gutierrez, and took his set of Callaway golf clubs. 

Deputies found Gutierrez's golf clubs inside the stolen truck. According to Neves, the teen admitted to being inside the stolen truck, but he denied having anything to do with the stolen golf clubs. Deputies aren't buying it. 

"[His] presence inside of the stolen pickup truck while the golf clubs were inside provides probable cause to believe that [he] was involved in the theft and burglary," Neves wrote in his report. 

The teen faces a felony charge of grand theft and a petit theft charge in Broward County. According to Carter's statement Thursday, the BSO deputies' investigation into the teen's crime spree in South Florida is ongoing. 

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