NORTH MIAMI BEACH – New surveillance tape shows a suspect who may be connected to two home invasions early Wednesday morning in North Miami Beach.
The tape shows the man darting behind a home after police say he ditched a Honda Civic just after 5 a.m. that belonged to one of the victims, Rabbi Eily Smith, after breaking into Smith’s home while he and his wife and seven children were sleeping.
North Miami Beach Police Major Kathy Katerman told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that this suspect who was wearing a white scully and a black tank top shirt may be connected to both burglaries.
“I came out of my room at about 5 a.m. and I saw a guy standing in the kitchen,” Rabbi Smith told D’Oench. “My first thought was what is he doing here? I don’t share the kitchen with anyone.
I realized he was an intruder and I screamed like I never screamed before. Get out of my house. He went through a side door and I was just getting ready to get my phone and call police when I heard a car backing up in my driveway,” Smith said “He took my car.”
“My first reaction was he must need something like food. My wife is very good and she would have fed him but then I realized he’s a robber and I screamed,” said Smith.
According to a new police report, the thief stole $200, a $50 portable DVD player. computer software and Smith’s 2013 Honda Civic.
The car was found a short time later a few blocks away at a neighbor’s home.
“We woke up around 5:15 a.m. when our dog started barking and we opened our eyes and saw the car running, doors open and people ditch from it,” said neighbor Yaniv Nakash.
But the rabbi’s home, located at South Glades Drive and 176th Terrace, may not have been their only target. Another person who lives in the area said they were robbed too.
“All I heard my mom scream, I jumped up she said ‘There’s a robber in the house, there’s a robber in the house’,” said “Joseph,” who lives on N.E. 10th Ave. at 181st St.
Joseph’s mother said she found a man standing in her kitchen. They believe the burglar used a bucket and removed this screen to climb through an open window.
“As soon as she said ‘robber in the house, robber in the house’ he just jumped out the window. By the time I got outside the man was gone like the wind,” said Joseph.
Joseph added that he didn’t get away with anything except his family’s sense of security.
“It’s an experience you think you would never go through, you only see that in the movies, hear about it on the news, it’s so surreal.”
While police work to put the pieces together, Rabbi Smith and his wife are grateful their children were not hurt.
“We’re happy to be safe. Everyone in the family is safe, thank God,” said Smith.
“I feel extraordinarily blessed by God,” he said. “This is every day that we are blessed after going through an experience like this.”
North Miami Beach Police say anyone who can help should call them or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).