Police identify West Virginia man as serial burglar in downtown, Brickell, Coral Gables

MIAMI – A 21-year-old man from West Virginia is facing charges for several burglaries in high-rise buildings in the Downtown Miami, Brickell, and Coral Gables areas.

Tyler Smith usually took advantage of unlocked doors and stole cash and credit cards he found while rummaging through apartments, according to the arrest forms.

When the residents found him inside, Smith quickly claimed that a man he had connected with on the Grinder dating app had told him to meet there, according to the arrest form.

Police officers arrested him shortly before midnight on Saturday after the security guards at SLS Lux, at 801 S. Miami Ave., in Brickell detained him for stealing from one of their residents, police said.

The residents claimed he had stolen cash, including currency from Canada, England, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Cuba, Switzerland, Turkey, and the Emirates, police said.

When police officers searched Smith, he was in possession of the cash just as the resident had described it, police said. Corrections officers booked him at about 8 a.m., on Sunday at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center where he remained on Friday.

Smith was involved in similar burglaries including on Oct. 19, at The Ivy, on Oct. 24 at ParkLine, and on Oct. 27, at the SLS Lux, according to the arrest reports. According to the Coral Gables Police Department, Smith is also a suspect in a string of burglaries on Oct. 20, at the Thesis Hotel, where he identified himself as a University of Miami student in Coral Gables.

Smith is facing charges of grand theft, five counts of burglary, and three counts of petit theft. Police officers were asking anyone with information about the cases to call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.