ENGLEWOOD, Fla.- A fingerprint match from a burglary reported Monday led to the arrest of three Englewood area teenagers on Tuesday.
On Monday, employees at the Cedar Point Environmental Park, located at 2300 Placida Road, found that sometime over the weekend someone had broken into the visitor’s center and taken about $1,800 worth of artifacts from displays. The items reported as stolen were an American alligator skull, a sawfish snout, a rattlesnake skin, and a mounted, stuffed rattlesnake.
While detectives were beginning a neighborhood check, they located a large rattlesnake skin in front of a nearby unoccupied office building. Inside an unlocked office, they found the stuffed rattlesnake body, a set of deer antlers, a small hog skull, a sawfish snout and a can of whipped cream. An employee from the park identified the artifacts as those stolen from Cedar Point.
Crime scene technicians who processed the burglary scene located a latent fingerprint on the inside of the glass housing where the rattlesnake body had been displayed. They were able to match that print with that of a 14-year-old Englewood resident.
Through their investigation, detectives developed evidence that the teen, and two other juvenile suspects had participated in entering the visitor’s center after it was closed and removing the artifacts and other property from their displays.
Detectives were able to recover the alligator skull, shown in the attached photo, and three fossilized shark’s teeth that had been taken but were not initially recovered.
All three boys were charged with Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure and Grand Theft and transported to the Charlotte County Jail.