Police find $120K stolen car connected to home invasion
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (WSVN) -- Police have found the luxury sedan in which, detectives said, a masked assailant drove away from a $35 million mansion after he allegedly tied up the car's owner and ransacked her property.
According to investigators, Coral Gables Police responded to a 911 call placed Thursday around 11:30 p.m. Detectives said the masked perpetrator barged into Linda Ruffe's 12,000-square-foot mansion at 110 Arvida Parkway in the Gables Estates, a neighborhood known for its large waterfront properties and luxury vehicles.
Police said the incident has rocked the upscale community. "This is usually a very quiet community; last night it was not," Coral Gables Police Officer Kelly Denham.
Detectives said the subject surprised Ruffe as she was walking out of her bathroom and ordered her to get on the floor at gunpoint. "The homeowner was bound [by] her hands and feet," said Denham. "She then was instructed to not move."
Police said the subject then ransacked the home and fled from the scene in Ruffe's black 2011 Aston Martin Vantage.
"We don't know the point of entry; we do not know the items that were taken," said Denham. "That's still something that's trying to be determined by our detectives. We're very early on in this investigation, and the information will be coming forth ... to help us try to get the public to solve this horrible crime."
Denham said Ruffe was unharmed but shaken up by the ordeal. "The victim, thank God, was not injured physically, but the emotional trauma is something that she will probably never forget," she said.
Detectives said an image of the alleged robber was captured as he crossed the Gables Estates' south entrance security gate while driving the Ruffe's Aston Martin unnoticed. Investigators said they are also considering the possibility that, since the mansion backs right up to Biscayne Bay, the perpetrator may have been dropped off by boat.
Denham said investigators are examining all possible scenarios as to how the perpetrator could have entered Ruffe's home. "We don't know if he came by boat," she said. "Anything is possible right now."
Authorities said they spotted Ruffe's car with both of its doors open Friday at a visitor parking lot in the Villas of Deerwood on 12224 SW 148 St. in Southwest Miami-Dade, about 13 miles away from the scene of the crime. Police said they did not find any of the items taken from the victim's home inside the vehicle.
Neighbors in Ruffe's community said they hope police can make an arrest soon. "It really worries me that this is happening here," said area resident Carla Albarran. "I'm not very happy about this."
Leon Benjamin, another neighbor, called the home invasion a "big surprise, big, big surprise. I'm sure that the way they've always dealt with these kinds of situations, they'll catch this guy."
If you have any information on the identity or whereabouts of the masked assailant, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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