3 charged in smash-and-grab at Brevard County cellphone store


PALM BAY, Fla. - Three Orlando men have been charged with a weekend burglary at a Brevard County cellphone store. 

About 5 a.m. Saturday, authorities were called to the Verizon Wireless store on Malabar Road in Palm Bay after a burglary alarm went off.  When officers arrived, the front door of the business had been shattered. 

Because of the type of business targeted in the burglary, Sgt. Boyd Williams immediately sent officers to other cellphone stores in the area, including a Sprint store at the Hammock Landings mall at on Palm Bay Road in West Melbourne. 

Officer Ryan Palmer saw a vehicle parked behind the business, so he contacted West Melbourne police for assistance.

Three people were in the vehicle, and officers said they were able to see a blue mask, gloves and an ax inside.

West Melbourne police arrested the three suspects on suspicion of loitering and prowling, authorities said.

Then, after a search warrant was executed, detectives found 44 cellphones in the trunk of the car, along with the evidence used to commit the burglary at the Verizon store.

A review of the surveillance video showed the suspects with the same burglary tools and mask that were recovered from the vehicle.

The cellphones, valued at more than $20,000, were confirmed to have been stolen from the Verizon store, police said.

Investigators charged Raziel Periu, Wilson Andre and Brent Starnes with burglary, grand theft, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools.

All three are being held in the Brevard County Jail without bond.