Two cases in Florida highlight importance of locking your vehicles

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Man opening car door

Charlotte County, FL- Two recent cases have proven to be a crime of opportunity. Two men were recently arrested stemming from two separate incidents within Charlotte County, where they both took advantage of unlocked vehicles.

Bruce Layendecker
05/18/1984

On November 9th, two unlocked vehicles parked at Beef O’ Brady’s on McCall Road in Englewood were entered by Bruce Layendecker. Within one of those unlocked vehicles was a firearm which Layendecker removed from within.

This incident was captured on surveillance footage showing Layendecker making himself at home as he ransacked the vehicles leaving napkins scattered throughout one of them. Bruce Layendecker was arrested on 6 charges to include:

  • Burglary of an Unoccupied Conveyance Unarmed
  • LARC Petit theft 2nd Degree 1st Offence <$100
  • Possession of Firearm Ammunition or Weapon by Florida Convicted Felon
  • MARIJUANA – POSSESS NOT MORE THAN 20 GRAMS
  • Drug Paraphernalia – Possession or Use Of
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Another man identified as Andres Santiago was arrested in Orange County on the evening of November 9, following a Charlotte County crime spree involving six vehicle burglaries (all unlocked), two stolen cars (all unlocked with key fob left inside), and a stolen golf cart off of Bermont Road in Punta Gorda.


On the morning of November 9, members of Criminal Investigations Unit responded to a condominium off Bermont Road while assisting Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, who had come into contact with a white Cadillac stolen from this address. The Cadillac had been left unlocked with the key fob inside. While detectives were on scene, residents began to come forward with additional reports that their cars had been entered, and another vehicle had been stolen.

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The second reported vehicle was a Ford Focus and was eventually stopped in Orlando driven by Andres DeSantiago. This vehicle was also left unlocked with the key fob inside. During interviews with DeSantiago, detectives learned that DeSantiago had driven to the area with friends to go “car hopping”. This is a term that describes quickly burglarizing many cars, one after another. Once they arrived at the location on Bermont Road, they used a stolen golf cart to quickly enter and ransack the unlocked vehicles, taking what they desired.

Andres DeSantiago
08/17/2002

Andres DeSantiago is being held at the Orange County jail on the following charges:

  • Vehicle burglary x 4
  • Grand Theft Auto x 3
  • Petite Theft
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We share this information in hopes that our community will take note and always remember to secure their valuables, lock their doors, shut their garages, and remain vigilant to the activities within their neighborhoods.

If you see something suspicious, please contact the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office’s non0emergency number at 941-639-0013.

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