Acting on a tip, Miami Police recently raided a squat ranch house on a quiet side street a few blocks south of Bird Avenue in Coconut Grove.
Inside the house, at 3152 Elizabeth St., police found a mother lode of goods stolen in a spate of car break-ins around the neighborhood over the past month -- thousands of dollars' worth of GPS devices, schoolbooks, stereos, and golf clubs, says Officer Jeffrey Giordano, a spokesman for the Miami PD.
The cops arrested three men inside -- 33-year-old William Vanwinkle, 48-year-old Michael Wriggens, and 32-year-old Daron Johnson.
Two of the men have colorful records.
Both Vanwinkle and Johnson have been arrested scores of times for cocaine and pot possession, burglary, loitering, and public intoxication; Wriggens had a clean record before this arrest.
Police distributed pamphlets about the crime wave around Coconut Grove before the tip came in leading them to Vanwinkle and his cohorts, he says.
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And last Wednesday, a seperate tip led police to another area car burglar, Giordano says.
Dunel Olivia-Diaz, a 27-year-old Hialeah resident, was charged with breaking into two cars.