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Stolen garage door openers used by burglars

Posted at 3:13 PM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 19:26:14-04

St. Pete police say men breaking into unlocked cars were looking for garage door openers and, when they found them, they used them to gain access to people's homes.

At least one suspect, 21-year-old Michael Plummer has been arrested. Police are searching for another man.

Police say Plummer and another man were on a burglary spree early Monday morning in the Coquina Key area.  The men are believed to have gone into several unlocked cars but upped their game when they found a garage door opener.

The suspects picked the wrong house, to say the least.

Pedro Gomez-Mulero says his home is surrounded by surveillance cameras and a camera that is motion activated in the garage caught Plummer and another man walking around, trying to get into the house.

It was 4:30 a.m.

"They were just strolling the garage like they owned the house," said Gomez-Mulero.

Gomez-Mulero told ABC Action News he was inside asleep and his spouse was getting ready for work.

He was awakened by his cell phone alerting him the garage door had been opened.

Gomez-Mulero's spouse jiggled the locked door handle leading to the garage and it was enough to send the suspects running, police say.

According to Gomez-Mulero, he immediately called police and they showed up within minutes.

Gomez-Mulero's cameras are such a high quality the suspects could be seen clearly. Gomez-Mulero says he hopped in the back of a squad car and joined police as they searched for the suspects.

Plummer was found a few blocks away, identified by Gomez-Mulero and arrested.

Police are still looking for the other suspect.

PLUMMER LINKED TO SIMILAR BURGLARY; FIREARM STOLEN

Police say DNA has linked Plummer to a Dec. 22 break-in at a home off 25th Avenue North.

That crime took place around 6:30 a.m.

Plummer entered the victim's unlocked car, used the garage door opener to access the house and then pried open the door to the residence, an arrest affidavit says.

Once inside, police say Plummer stole a .357 revolver.

According to an arrest affidavit, the screwdriver Plummer used to pry open the door was left behind and swabbed for DNA.  That DNA sample was then entered into a database and came back as a match to Plummer.

The homeowner reportedly told police he does not know Plummer and never gave him permission to enter his car or home.

Plummer is now charged with armed burglary and burglary of an occupied dwelling.

Jail records show Plummer has prior arrests dating to 2012, including charges of petit theft, grand theft of a motor vehicle, resisting an officer without violence, obstruction, fleeing and eluding at a high rate of speed, driving on a suspended or revoked license and carrying a concealed weapon.