Crime

Burglars broke into house after Irma. One of them left her purse behind, cops say

Candace Johnson, 31, is charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling during a state of emergency.
Candace Johnson, 31, is charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling during a state of emergency. Manatee County Sheriff’s Office

Like many other residents, a Bradenton man evacuated his home before Hurricane Irma blew through the area. When he came back home, all was well, except his house was without power.

He left again, and returned just a few hours later to find that someone had broken into his home on the 1000 block of 12th Avenue West and made off with his valuables. They took a pair of bikes, jewelry and workout equipment, among other things.

What they didn’t remember to take with them was their purse.

The purse contained identification for Candace Johnson, 31. Bradenton police used this information to track down her and her boyfriend, Elias Reyes, 31. Officers searched Reyes’ pawn history and revealed the items the victim reported stolen.

Over the course of three days, Reyes pawned off the stolen items for $185 in cash, according to the probable cause affidavit. During each transaction, Reyes provided his ID, picture and thumb print.

Police then took the victim to the pawn shops where the transactions occurred and he identified the items as his.

Johnson was arrested Sept. 28 and charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling during a state of emergency. She is currently being held on a $20,000 bond.

Reyes was also arrested Sept. 28 and admitted to breaking into the residence and pawning what he stole, according to the probable cause affidavit.

His charges include burglary of an unoccupied dwelling during a state of emergency and false ownership of pawned items. He is currently being held on bonds totaling $52,000.

Ryan Callihan: 941-745-7095, @RCCallihan

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