Thanks to surveillance footage at an Uncle Bob’s Self Storage facility in Plantation, FL, an alleged thief was identified and aprehended last week. Wearing a security uniform and a BB gun in his belt holster, 25-year-old John Edward Mortimer entered an Aeropostale clothing store, met with the manager, and walked out with $162,000. According to surveillance footage from the Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, FL, Mortimer’s getaway car was a 2006 black Chrysler 300, the same vehicle that was reported stolen and later discovered at the storage facility seven miles away.
In the trunk of the Chrysler, authorities found an Aeropostale shirt, the Brinks Security uniform, a BB gun and two cell phones. A man named Noel Reid is the last known owner of the stolen Chrysler in question. According to Reid’s Google+ account, he works as a merchandiser at Aeropostale.
On November 26, the day after the busiest shopping day of the year and the same day as the heist, it was Reid who dropped Mortimer off at the airport, where Mortimer boarded a one-way flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica. While Reid admitted to driving Mortimer to the airport, he denied any involvement in the Aeropostale theft. Phone records reveal Reid was at the mall at the time of the robbery, and that he was conversing with someone on one of the two cell phones authorities discovered in the trunk of the Chrysler. Nevertheless, as of September 6, Reid has not been charged with any crime in relation to the heist.
With Facebook status updates about the recent ban on synthetic drugs and several posts about his new $20,000 Ducati motorcycle, Reid’s Facebook page is quite revealing. Reid introduced the motorcycle to his friends with a photo of the bike captioned, “It’s here, the death of me, riding my grave…” on November 28, a mere two days after the robbery. An April 18 status update reads, “L.I.F.E. – Living In Fear Every Day.”
Authorities have been unable to contact Reid since December 1, which I find quite odd, as his cell phone number is available on Facebook and I spoke with him on the phone Friday. Unfortunately, he refused to answer any of my questions about the incident.
With airport and phone records, as well as surveillance footage from Sawgrass Mills Mall and Uncle Bob’s, U.S. Marshals were able find Mortimer in Jamaica. At the moment, he’s in a Broward County jail, awaiting trial.
This story reminds us just how important surveillance cameras are in preventing crime at self-storage facilities. Thanks in part to Uncle Bob’s security cameras, one alleged criminal will be brought to justice. We’ll wait and see if authorities apprehend Reid.
Photo courtesy of NBCMiami.com