Police: Burglary suspect arrested after he stole car, fled officers
Cape Coral Police detectives arrested a burglary suspect after he stole a vehicle from the home he burglarized and attempted to flee from police, officials said today.
Brett Alan Jabaay, 27, was charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand vehicle theft, fleeing and eluding police, and other charges after Cape police pulled him from a canal as he reportedly tried to avoid apprehension by swimming away.
Cape officials began their investigation on Aug. 1 when a property manager for Vacation Hilt reported to police that a home in the 1800 block of Southwest 43rd Street had been burglarized since his last checkup visit on July 25. Two, large flat-panel televisions were stolen along with a garage door opener and two sets of car keys – one set for a 2003 Mercedes-Benz ML500 SUV and the other set to a 1997 Jaguar. With the theft of the car keys and garage door opener, the homeowner was concerned about his vehicles being stolen. Cape Coral Police Detective Jason Hicks began conducting surveillance on the home, and at 6:53 p.m. on Tuesday, the silver Mercedes was removed from the garage.
Hicks located the vehicle as the driver was leaving the parking lot of the Shell Gas Station at 3130 Pine Island Road. Hicks confirmed that the person driving the Mercedes was not the owner of the vehicle.
The detective continued to follow the vehicle and called for additional police support. When additional Cape police officers arrived, Hicks attempted to conduct a traffic stop. However, the driver refused to stop and fled from police, officials said. A few minutes later, the suspect’s vehicle hit a telephone pole causing damage to the driver’s side. He then parked the vehicle behind some shrubbery and attempted to elude police by jumping into a nearby canal.
Officers stood on the banks of the canal and ordered the man to swim to shore and surrender. The suspect, later identified as Jabaay, refused to do so. Sgt. Rob Wardrop and Officer Kordelle McKissack entered the canal and were able to retrieve Jabaay and bring him to shore where he was placed under arrest.
During a subsequent interview with Hicks, Jabaay denied knowledge of the prior burglary at the home and said that an unknown male gave him the garage door opener and keys to the Mercedes, and asked Jabaay to steal the car for him in exchange for narcotics, officials said.
Other charges were hit and run accident and driving with suspended license – habitual offender, officials said.