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The Villages
Saturday, September 30, 2023

Chicago Bulls jersey helps identify burglary suspect

Alexander Tanel Smith
Alexander Tanel Smith

A burglary suspect was arrested after the Chicago Bulls jersey he was wearing enabled law enforcement to connect him to the scene of the crime.

Alexander Tanel Smith, 33, who is homeless, was arrested Wednesday by Lake County sheriff’s deputies on charges of armed burglary, grand theft and resisting arrest.

A homeowner in rural Lady Lake heard noises in the wee hours Sunday coming from the rear of his residence. The homeowner noticed that lights he normally keeps illuminated had been turned off, according to an arrest report. The homeowner also received a call from a witness who informed him “there was someone going through his house.”

Deputies arrived on the scene and spotted Smith, who was wearing a reflective vest over a Chicago Bulls jersey. He had been carrying items out of the home and he was ordered to drop them. He dropped the items to the ground and began to flee on foot. He also dropped a pocketknife before running away. A K-9 and a helicopter were called in to aid in the search, but Smith evaded capture.

Images had been captured at the scene of the burglary which showed that Smith was wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey. Smith had been wearing the same jersey in a booking photo on July 9.

He was arrested three days after the burglary, thanks to the jersey which linked him to the scene of the crime. He was booked at the Lake County Jail on $28,000 bond.

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