CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Richard Anthony Jones was arrested Tuesday and is facing a number of charges, allegedly linked to several cases of theft throughout Miami-Dade County. He may not be behind bars if not for the careful eye of an attorney.
Police say the 24-year-old Jones was caught on surveillance camera Sept. 1 stealing laptops from a Brickell office building.
And when that video hit the news, it caught the attention of attorney Brian Barakat.
“I forwarded it to our internal group chat and just said, ‘Laptop thefts are a thing. Be careful what you leave on your desks,’” he said.
The video of a thief lurking and stealing from an office like his prompted Barakat to warn his employees to keep an eye out for him. And it’s a good thing he did.
Jones allegedly came to Barakat’s law office on Ponce de Leon Boulevard asking for donations for a football team.
“Which is odd because nobody is playing football right now except for the Dolphins,” the attorney said.
The suspect later came back through a different door and was caught on surveillance cameras again scoping out empty desks. An employee saw what he was doing, and eventually, he left.
But Coral Gables police were waiting. Investigators linked Jones to crimes in Miami, South Miami and Coral Gables, including grand theft, burglary and attempted felony murder.
Jones was in bond court Wednesday morning, insisting he is innocent.
“This is the second time I’m harassed by Coral Gables police,” he said. “Just because I’m African American and everybody has twists [in their hair like mine]?”
He is being held without bond.