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Palm Coast Friday, Jun. 7, 2019 2 months ago

Man arrested after allegedly trying to break into home, fleeing deputies

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A woman saw Michael Roberts, 23, try to open her home's back door, according to the FCSO.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

A 23-year-old with a local arrest history dating back to 2010 was arrested after a resident saw him trying to break into her house June 6, leading law enforcement to search the area with assistance from the county's emergency helicopter. During the chase, he dropped duffel bags containing stolen cell phones and tablets, plus approximately 18 bottles of stolen prescription medication, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office.

The FCSO was tipped off about the burglaries through a report from a home on Cortes Court in Palm Coast at 4:53 p.m.: A resident called and said she'd been sitting in her living room when a man tried to open her back door.

He then walked toward her boat dock, and she noticed that her shed was open.

She approached him, and he "mumbled something and was observed stuffing unknown items into a black bag," according to an FCSO report on the case. Then he said, "Don't worry, I'm not stealing anything," according to the report.

She took a picture of him using her phone, and he fled, dropping things on the ground as he went.

She described him as white, thin, dark-haired and wearing a red shirt, black pants, red socks and white tennis shoes. Nothing was missing from her shed, she told deputies.

When deputies arrived to search for him, a witness stopped them and said he'd seen the man walking between homes, a large duffel bag slung over his shoulder. Another witness saw the same man, but wearing a white shirt with stripes: He'd changed his clothing.

The county's emergency helicopter, Flagler County Fire Flight, spotted the man in the area the witness had noted, and the man dumped the duffel and headed west on Collingwood Lane.

A deputy found him, and noticed that he "appeared nervous and removed his white sneakers from his feet." Deputies stopped him at Collingwood's intersection with Palm Harbor Parkway, and identified him as Michael Shawn McRoberts Jr., a resident of Westbriar Place in Palm Coast. He refused to speak with deputies, according to the news release.

They found two black duffel bags full of electronics and medication at the woodline, and were able to identify the owners of the stolen items and return the goods.

McRoberts has been arrested and charged with dealing in stolen property, tampering with evidence, loitering or prowling, and resisting an officer without violence.

When deputies took him to the county jail, McRoberts started beating his head against the divider inside the patrol car, saying he wanted to be taken to the hospital, according to the news release.

He was evaluated at AdventHealth Palm Coast then returned to the jail, where he is being held on $12,000 bond.

“I’m proud of our team for quickly taking this repeat offender off the streets and returning the stolen items to their owners,” Sheriff Rick Staly said, according to the news release. “I’m especially grateful to the community that saw this occurring and immediately said something. The team effort between our residents, Fireflight, 9-1-1 dispatchers and our deputies helped us locate and identify this suspect. An engaged community is a great partner to our law enforcement efforts and proves once again ‘if you see something, say something’ works.” 

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