By Jay Meisel
PORT ST. LUCIE - An investigation into an abandoned vehicle with stolen goods led to the discovery of a plot that involved thieves posing as motel guests and burglarizing rooms, according to an arrest affidavit.
Solomon Olusegun Brown, 31, of 5337 Oakmont Circle, Lake Worth, was arrested Aug. 21 and charged with two counts of burglary of an occupied dwelling and grand theft.
The investigation, which police say is continuing, involved a burglary of a room at Springhill Suites Hotel and an apparent attempted burglary of another room at Holiday Inn Express, both on Feb. 4, the arrest affidavit said. Both motels are in St. Lucie West.
At Springhill Suites, a couple reported leaving their motel room for breakfast, the affidavit said.
When the returned, they found the room ransacked and numerous items missing, including a laptop computer, binoculars, a digital recorder and several Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Communications Commission high security clearance identification badges.
A housekeeping employee told investigators that when she was cleaning the couple's room two men entered and asked how long she would be there, the affidavit said.
She believed that the men were the occupants of the room, she told authorities.
A surveillance camera showed that the men later left in a beige/gold colored four-door Oldsmobile, the affidavit said.
Apparently, not long afterwards two men, one fitting the description of one of the two suspects in the burglary, were seen in the nearby Holiday Inn Express and led a maid to believe they were motel guests.
However, nothing was reported stolen from that room, the affidavit said.
The next day, police found what they believed to be the Oldsmobile parked at the nearby Hampton Inn, the affidavit said.
They saw items inside, including a computer case, they believed were taken from the motel room.
Police conducted surveillance on the car for hours, but no one showed up, police said.
Officers then had the car towed to the police impound because it didn't belong to a registered guest of the Hampton Inn and appeared to contain stolen property, the affidavit said.
The registered owner of the vehicle, who lived in Lake Worth, told police he sold it to One Stop Auto in January 2012 and had no knowledge of any subsequent owners, the affidavit said.
Police then contacted One Stop Auto Sales and were told it was sold to a woman in Del Ray Beach.
The woman told police that she was going to report the car stolen and had last seen it at her son's friend's house.
The son of the woman told police conflicting stories about what happened to the vehicle and his fingerprints, as well as Mr. Solomon's fingerprints were discovered inside it, the affidavit said.
Mr. Solomon also was identified as one of the burglars entering the Springhill motel room, the arrest affidavit said.
Mr. Brown's criminal history includes 17 felony charges and 12 misdemeanors, with one felony conviction, the affidavit said.