Investigation leads to recovery of police gear in St. Pete - WFLA News Channel 8

Investigation leads to recovery of police gear in St. Pete

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On Saturday, April 6th, St. Petersburg police officers investigated a burglary to a City of St. Petersburg undercover police car that was parked outside the home of an undercover detective.

The home is located in the NW portion of the city and the burglary took place sometime between 3:00 p.m. on April 5th to about 7:00 p.m. on April 6th.

Authorities say during the burglary the suspect(s) stole the detective's ballistic vest, a police radio, cell phone charger and flashlight. No firearms were in the car at the time.

That same afternoon, officers located the stolen police radio and flashlight inside a recently recovered stolen Lexus RX330 sedan. Authorities say forensic evidence from that vehicle was linked to 19-year-old Rashaud Desean Benjamin and 19-year-old Randy Revell Stanley, both of St. Petersburg.

Benjamin was stopped and arrested by detectives Monday afternoon at 13 Avenue North and 25th Street. Authorities say he had property taken from the burglary of the undercover detective's vehicle.  In addition, authorities say Benjamin also had with him, property taken from the unmarked police vehicle of Detective Matthew Furse that was stolen on March 25th and later found in Lake Maggiore.

After his arrest, Benjamin assisted detectives in recovering three police ballistic vests stolen from the two police vehicles.

Benjamin was subsequently charged with two counts of auto burglary to the two police vehicles and one count of auto theft related to the theft of the Lexus.

Stanley was arrested by detectives Tuesday morning and claimed that while he did not participate in the burglary of the two police cars, he did buy three police ballistic vests for $600.  He was charged with Dealing in Stolen Property and 1 count of Auto Theft related to the stolen Lexus.

Detectives say that it's not clear at this point whether Benjamin and Stanley were specifically targeting police vehicles.  Detectives do believe that there are others who have knowledge or participated in these crimes and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Anyone with information should call the non-emergency number at 727-893-7780, Text-A-Tip to 727-420-8911 or leave a confidential tip at 727-892-5000.


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