Is this a Crime?

(WSVN) - Surveillance cameras show a man breaking into a car and stealing property. Police caught him, but didn’t cuff him. The police said that wasn’t a crime. It turns out the victim knew the accused thief and was afraid of him, which is why she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Cindy and Michael have been married for two years. She appreciates him — even more so because of a prior boyfriend.

Cindy Laurenfant, was it a crime?: “This relationship I’m in now, it’s definitely a happy, healthy relationship versus the relationship that I was in before.”

Before Cindy married Michael she dated a fellow by the name of Sean Ghany. She says it was a rough time for her.

Cindy Laurenfant: “He would get drunk, he would just beat me up.”

Cindy never called the cops on Sean, but a bank did.

Cindy Laurenfant: “In 2014, he decided to wake up one day, get drunk and rob a bank and got caught.”

Sean was convicted and sent to federal prison.

Cindy broke up with him while he was incarcerated, and in phone calls from jail, Cindy says he made it clear he was not happy about that.

Cindy Laurenfant: “And each time he was threatening me. ‘I’m gonna come for you.'”

Cindy says when Ghany got out of prison, not only did he harass her — her surveillance cameras showed him coming to her house.

Cindy Laurenfant: “Sean, my ex-boyfriend, on the camera pulling up in a vehicle and then sits in the car. He took my husband’s wallet. He took his tools.”

Cindy called the Hollywood police.

They came out, and even after looking at the surveillance tape, they said there was nothing they could do about what the law defines as a felony.

Cindy Laurenfant: “Since he wasn’t still technically on the property by the time they came, there’s nothing that they can do. Technically, it’s not a crime.”

Cindy explained that technically Sean was still on federal probation for the bank robbery. “Didn’t matter,” she was told.

Cindy Laurenfant: “I just have anger. I was scared. I was nervous.”

But, Sean Ghany was not out of trouble. Later that same day, Miami Gardens Police arrested him after he was accused of another felony — hitting a pregnant woman.

Judge Renatha S. Francis, Miami-Dade Bond Court: “Sir, you’re being charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant victim.”

Ghany bonded out.

We then told Cindy to check the surveillance videos to see if Sean had done anything else.

She did and caught him appearing to try to break into her house. Allegedly, another felony.

When she showed that to Hollywood Police, this time they arrested him.

Judge, Broward County Bond Court: “Alright Mr. Ghany, you are before the court. Count One is burglary. Count two is petty theft. Count three is a hold for the U.S. Marshal’s Office, which is a no bond hold.”

The hold from the Marshals came for Ghany violating his probation on the bank robbery conviction.

But, Cindy has seen him walk out of jail before.

Cindy Laurenfant: “And obviously, he didn’t learn anything while he was in prison.”

To keep him away from her, Cindy went to court to get a permanent restraining order, and surprise, while there, Sean Ghany seemed to admit to the crimes against Cindy and her husband.

Sean Ghany: “There are just some things I would like to return to her. I will contact him and have the property returned back to her.”

The judge then reminded Ghany that he was accused of stealing from Cindy and her husband.

Judge: “That could be used against you in the criminal proceeding.”

Sean Ghany then said, “Forget it.” He didn’t have property to return to Cindy.

Sean Ghany: “At this moment, no.”

He then headed back to jail, and Cindy headed home after getting that indefinite restraining order to keep Sean Ghany away from her.

Cindy Laurenfant: “I really do appreciate everything that you have done.”

Cindy now feels like she can rest a little easier.

Cindy Laurenfant: “I am now able to just come home and watch TV, rather than looking at the cameras wondering if he is coming back to my home.”

Should that first officer who showed up and saw the video of an apparent crime being committed have done something?

Yep, he made a mistake, but a fellow officer watched the surveillance video and made an arrest.

The bottom line? If you think an police officer is wrong, contact their bosses.

Feel what’s happening to you is a crime? Having trouble restraining yourself? Set yourself free and contact us, so we can lock up a solution for you.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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