On Tuesday, Sept. 3, the Venice Police Department received a call reporting that an individual had broken the window on a car in the parking lot of CVS, at the corner of U.S. 41 Bypass and East Venice Avenue, and removed a purse from within the vehicle. The suspect was described as a white male in his 40s wearing a camouflage hat, black t-shirt and shorts with a flourescent green stripe on the sides. The suspect was last seen riding a bicycle toward the rear of Bogey’s restaurant on East Venice Avenue. A perimeter consisting of patrol officers and detectives was established around the industrial area with additional officers searching for the suspect. As the search for the suspect progressed, Officer Michelle Larock located the stolen purse in a dumpster on Cypress Avenue.

While searching for the suspect Lt. Eric Hill, the on-duty patrol commander, recalled seeing an individual, who was a suspect in a recent commercial burglary, on Sunday, while he was off duty. Lt. Hill made note of what he was wearing, which matched the description of clothing as described by witnesses in this most recent vehicle burglary at CVS.

While searching the area, and after realizing he matched the description of the individual he saw on Sunday, he noticed the suspect’s girlfriend walking along Seaboard Avenue in the same area where the suspect was last seen. Lt. Hill informed the detectives, who began following her in unmarked vehicles hoping she would lead them to the suspect. She was stopped and questioned as she was about to board a SCAT bus to leave the area. She admitted that her boyfriend, Ricky Dingler, had committed the burglary and was hiding inside a building at the corner of Seaboard Avenue and Camion Street. A computer check also revealed the suspect had an active warrant for a failure to appear on a burglary charge in Alabama.

A perimeter was established around the building and permission was obtained from the owner to enter and search for the suspect. Several officers entered. As they searched, the suspect attempted to run out a door on the west side of the building. He was confronted by Detective Sgt. Jason Adams and taken into custody. He still possessed two window punch tools in his pockets. The witness identified him as the suspect and he confessed during a post Miranda interview.