Two Martin County sheriff’s lieutenants fired gunshots Saturday at a vehicle speeding away from an apparent car burglary in Stuart, Sheriff William Snyder said Monday.
No one was hit, and the lieutenants have returned to work, Snyder said at an afternoon news conference at the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office did not identify the lieutenants Monday.
Three people — all from Broward County — were arrested in Stuart after they crashed their car as they tried to elude authorities. Deputies arrested Feirious Damion Martez Tanner, 28, of Deerfield Beach; Terry Lee Boatwright, 26, of Fort Lauderdale; and Meghan Rae Crawford, 22, of Tamarac, each on charges of attempted burglary.
Tanner remained at the Martin County Jail on Monday in lieu of $150,000 bail. Crawford and Boatwright were both being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
In announcing the arrests, Snyder noted a pattern in recent months of people traveling from counties from the south to commit crimes in Martin County.
“It’s a pattern that we would really like to stop, and the best way we know is aggressive law enforcement,” Snyder said.
Martin County authorities say Crawford, Tanner and Boatwright rented a vehicle and drove to Martin County from Fort Lauderdale on Saturday afternoon with the intent of targeting vehicles at county parks.
Members of the South Florida Burglary Task Force, which includes law-enforcement officers from Miami-Dade to St. Lucie counties, took note of their vehicle as it traveled to Martin County. The group went to several parks, including Jock Leighton Park in Palm City and Mary Brogan Park and Kiwanis Park in Stuart, the sheriff’s office said.
A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputy reported seeing one of the men pull on the door of a car parked at Mary Brogan Park. According to the sheriff’s office, the trio tried to break into a car at Kiwanis Park, prompting deputies to move in to arrest them.
However, the driver, identified as Crawford, accelerated in the direction of deputies, prompting two lieutenants to fire at the vehicle. The vehicle was struck multiple times, Snyder said. The vehicle continued through the parking lot and into a shrub line and then crashed through the shrubs.
A chase ensued as the suspects fled on East Osceola Street and Alamanda Way. The driver lost control and crashed into a fence. The suspects then fled on foot. Deputies apprehended them within 90 minutes.
Crawford and Boatwright are on felony probation and Boatwright is also a registered gang member, Snyder said. Boatwright and Tanner are suspects into two previous cases of auto burglary and credit-card fraud in Martin County.
According to the arrest report, Crawford told deputies that Boatwright and Tanner picked her up and first drove to Miami, then turned around and drove north to Martin County on Florida’s Turnpike. Crawford said Tanner began searching the location of parks on his cellphone once they arrived in Martin County. She said they went to multiple parks and tried to break into several vehicles to get purses.
Tanner said Crawford and Boatwright picked him up and were traveling to Port St. Lucie to meet one of Crawford’s friends. He said they stopped at the YMCA in Martin County and Crawford looked into some car windows.
He told authorities the only time he got of the car was to stretch. Boatwright told deputies he fell asleep during the ride to Martin County and never got out of the car.