Thieves speed through the state, lead troopers on chase

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:
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A high-speed chase started in Collier County and ended in Broward County.

That high-speed chase may have ended across the state, but it started here in Southwest Florida, spanning across southern Florida, landing three suspects in a string of robberies and car thefts in jail.

Florida Highway Patrol said it all began when the thieves stole a Range Rover from an open Naples garage.

FHP said they drove by the residence several times to case it, then backed into the driveway, ran inside, and stole it.

This is something Naples resident Jim Travers knows all too well. Years back, his car was stolen.

“Nothing more demeaning than that. To come out and have your bread and butter gone,” Travers said.

Only in this case, the stolen car eventually ran out of gas, so the thieves abandoned it, ran into the Everglades, and were picked up by this black Mercedes. It didn’t take long for troopers to spot them, as they were going 140 miles per hour.

“It does feel wonderful to have three or four of them, you know, there’s a little bit less danger out there and theft,” said Renee Marie Keene, Naples resident.

FHP said the best way to avoid this is to keep your car locked and garage closed. They also recommend setting alarms and never leaving your keys in the car.

But Keene, who has had her vehicle broken into many times, has a different tactic.

“I have a camera exterior and then cameras for the interior of the vehicle. I have a light that flashes constantly even when it’s still,” Keene said.

The three men caught in the Mercedes are suspected of being involved in a string of robberies and car thefts throughout Southwest and Southeast Florida.

They were wanted by several agencies.

A fourth suspect linked to these crimes still has yet to be found.

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