A Miami Gardens man cunningly spent the last year stealing rental car key fobs at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, amassing more than 100 in that span, deputies said. That was until Tuesday, when authorities finally tracked him down and put an end to the alleged burglary spree.
Armando Martinez is facing 143 counts of burglary of a conveyance and six counts of grand theft auto. As of Wednesday, jail records show the 31-year-old was still in the BSO Main Jail on a $149,000 bond.
Broward Sheriff's Office detectives say they've been on Martinez's trail since late 2021 when an investigation commenced after a man pilfered more than 100 key fobs from rental car companies at the airport. Similar crimes were committed several times in 2022.
Then in December, detectives identified Martinez as the man behind the crimes before ultimately arresting him on Tuesday, the sheriff's office said. Deputies say Martinez confessed.
It is believed that Martinez sold the key fobs to other people. With each fob worth several hundred dollars, deputies say the estimated total loss exceeds $77,000.
Related crimes were reported at Miami International Airport, too, and BSO has notified Miami-Dade law enforcement of its case.