Deputies in multiple districts responded to several burglary incidents, where varying criminal mischief was committed while inside the buildings.
Deputies initially responded to a restaurant along A1A North (Vilano), after the owner of the business approached a deputy in a parking lot and advised the business alarm had activated and the rear glass door to his business was shattered. Once at the business, video revealed a suspect driving a white Cadillac. The owner of the business believed he knew the subject and provided information on the subject’s address. While still at the business, SE District Deputies responded to 2 similar incidents along A1A South. The initial deputy responded to the residence provided by the business owner and identified a person of interest, however the suspect was not home. Deputies placed a Be On the Look Out (BOLO) for the vehicle.
SE District deputies arrived at an address along A1A South, where video showed a suspect attempting to use a wooden cane to pry open a doorway to a Vape Store. The suspect then acquired a flag pole and smashed the front door glass and entered the store. The owner of the business stated some items were removed, but an inventory would need to be done to verify the type and value of the merchandise. A matching vehicle and suspect were also discovered to have been at the scene.
While deputies investigated this incident and others were responding to a third location, a St. Augustine Police Officer located a matching vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. With several corroborating factors present, the nineteen-year-old driver was detained for questioning. A short distance away, deputies had arrived at a nearby church where numerous windows were smashed. Inside one of the bathroom’s, a sink had been torn from the wall and left on the floor. In the office area, computer screens were on the floor and a TV had a large hole in the screen in the auditorium. According to the report, the kitchen also had extensive damage.
Detectives from the Property Crimes Unit interviewed the suspect, identified as Andrew Tyler Uptain, 19, of St. Augustine who provide an account of the activity. Detectives charged Uptain with multiple counts of Burglary and Criminal Mischief. He was booked into the St. Johns County Jail without further incident.