In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in September, many locals worried about mainlanders coming to the Keys to loot evacuees’ homes. The target of such suspicions, in most cases, turned out to be misplaced.
There were very few reports of looting in the days and weeks that followed the Category 4 storm, and those caught in the act almost always had Monroe County addresses.
Enter Anthony Hoover, 24, of Tavernier who, according to a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit, raided the Bonito Lane home belonging to his friend’s parents either while they were away in the Bahamas in August or when they left the Keys to ride out the storm at a friend’s house in September.
Either way, in those two months, Edouardo and Ann Perry didn’t spend too much time home, but when they returned for good after the Sept. 10 Irma, they discovered more than $7,000 in items ranging from rods and reels to jewelry had been stolen. Detectives say Hoover took the goods and pawned them for a total of $545.
The initial indicator that the Perrys’ home had been burgled was a damaged Movado watch in the front yard.
The first story of their home was badly damaged from the storm but upstairs was not, Detective Lance Hernandez wrote in his report. As they began taking stock of their stuff inside, they noticed all of the jewelry that was in a bedroom downstairs was gone. Upstairs, they noticed rods, reels and a custom-made spearfishing gun were missing.
According to Hernandez’s report, the Perrys sailed their boat to the Bahamas for a month-long trip in the beginning of August. Their son Matt, 24, came home from college with the intent of flying out to the Bahamas to meet his parents on Aug. 5. Hoover, his friend since childhood, agreed to drive him to Miami International Airport and pick him up from there two weeks later.
Since Hoover hung out at the Perrys’ home since he was a boy, he knew they kept the key to the house inside a pot under the car port. In early October, the elder Perry called Hoover to ask him if he knew anything about the burglary. He said no, but Edouardo Perry told Hernandez that Hoover was “extremely nervous” and avoided him for days afterward.
Another detective went to the Coral Financial Pawnshop at mile marker 102.7 and saw several items fitting the description of the goods taken from the Perrys’ home there. Edouardo went to the pawnshop and confirmed the items were his.
The pawn shop provided police with transaction forms and on each, the seller was listed as Anthony Hoover. The seller also provided the pawn shop his drivers license and thumbprint.
Detectives applied for a warrant for Hoover’s arrest in early October, and he was arrested Nov. 24. He was booked into county jail on Plantation Key on four felony counts of dealing in stolen property and four counts of fraud. His bond was set at $80,000. He remained jailed Tuesday.
David Goodhue: 305-440-3204