Key Biscayne police captured a possible car theft suspect Thursday after an intense early morning search that led to an island-wide school lockdown and street closures, witnesses said.
Police would not confirm an arrest and there was no word on any charges.
City of Miami Police said a victim reported a stolen Alfa-Romeo around 4:15 a.m. from the area near West Flagler St. Later, the victim was able to electronically “ping” the car to Key Biscayne, where island officers were alerted. Miami police said the ‘ping’ was in the vicinity of McIntrye street, and the car was eventually located near Crossbridge Church.
Key Biscayne Police Chief Frank Sousa said after the notification from the City of Miami, a search began in earnest, with schools ordered locked down and a perimeter set up.
A 7 a.m. email alert sent by the Village advised residents to avoid the area near Woodcrest Lane and Heather Dr., between Fernwood Rd. and Hampton Lane.
Sousa said the subject jumped out of the Alfa-Romeo, and there was a pursuit on foot. The man then took a bicycle as he continued to flee, eluding police for a time.
Sometime later in the morning, a man was apprehended by officers. A picture circulating on social media showed a male wearing a red jacket in handcuffs next to Key Biscayne officers. The image could not be immediately authenticated.
Village Manager Steve Williamson said police were still gathering information, and would only say “this might be the same individual.” Miami police said a “possible subject” has been detained for investigation.
“This is a City of Miami investigation now,” Williamson said.
Key Biscayne Presbyterian School Director Anne Rothe said a man was taken into custody by officers and brought to the school’s parking lot, which police used as a staging area for the search.
“Luckily it happened before everybody got here, she said. “The whole situation was a great example of how important our School Resource team is.”
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.