Police arrest suspects in Westgate Park car break-ins

Published 08/27 2014 06:11PM

Updated 08/27 2014 08:30PM

After weeks of break-ins, stolen purses and other items, a credit card purchase led police to the suspects they call the Westgate Park Burglars. 

They arrested and charged Derrick Oliver and Nicole Flowerdew with identity theft.  The suspects were also charged with fraudulent credit card use, Oliver ten counts, and Flowerdew two counts.  Oliver was also charged with two counts of unlawful breaking and entering.  

"This was a bold attempt, but it was an in and out type thing.  They did it quickly, and then they left," said Major Steven Parrish with the Dothan Police Department.

Police say they broke into at least six cars, smashing windows and opening unlocked doors.  But they say the suspects may have broken into up to 30 cars at Westgate Park and the surrounding area.

A search warrant was issued for their home on Arlington Street.  Police say they found several stolen items in the residence.

"By the property that we recovered from the house, it was obvious this was their occupation, this is what they did,” Parrish said.  “So we're happy about the arrest, and hopefully we'll be able to load as many charges on them as we possible can."

The suspects' neighbors watched as police entered the home.

"It's very surprising because it seems like everyone is so laid back around here, and you wouldn't think that they would do something like this and expect to get away with it,” said neighbor Tommie Moore.

Police say one victim put her purse in the trunk after parking her car.  But the suspects were watching, and they broke into the car, opened the trunk and stole the purse.  Despite this scenario, police say it's still best to use certain precautions.

"We've done some public service announcements over the past year or two advising the public to please lock your doors if you're going to leave your stuff in there, and most people are doing that now," Parrish said.

Parrish says the investigation is still underway, and he's not ruling out any additional suspects.  Law enforcement is also asking anyone with information to contact the Dothan Police Department.

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