MIAMI – New video shows a West Virginia man accused of breaking into high-rises in Miami and Coral Gables making himself right at home before police said he stole items.
Police said 21-year-old Tyler Smith typically took advantage of unlocked doors and stole cash and credit cards he found while rummaging through the apartments.
Juarez Neto, whose Brickell apartment was targeted, said Smith played it cool when confronted.
Police said he told the victims he was there to meet someone off the Grindr dating app.
“He showed a couple of pictures on his phone that he was looking for a specific person and he was waiting for the person to arrive,” Neto said. “He sounded pretty nice.”
When Neto went to check, he said Smith stole $3,000.
“In some cases, these victims were asleep,” Officer Kiara Delva, a Miami Police Department spokesperson, said. “He would walk in and confront the victims and tell them he was there to meet a friend. It’s completely unacceptable. And it’s very disturbing.”
So how did he get into the high-end apartments?
“We have private elevators. But there’s a service door that’s very natural to leave it open,” Neto said. “He went through the back. He hides in the staircase where no cameras catch him.”
“He has a pretty interesting business model to make his revenue,” he added.
Smith remained in jail Monday, facing a number of charges.