Bal Harbour Shops robber hides out in high-end neighborhood

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents within a multi-million dollar neighborhood in Bal Harbour are on high alert after a burglar ran from a high-end store he ripped off and into the community.

“The suspect was chased through here. He jumped over this Tiki fence, and you see here, he landed right here,” said Bal Harbour Mayor Gabe Groisman.

Still shots of the subject were released from a surveillance video inside Saks Fifth Avenue in the Bal Harbour Shops, around 10 p.m., Tuesday. Police said the still photos show 26-year-old James Exum, who was doing some shopping, but had trouble when he had to pay.

“He was using a fraudulent credit card,” said Bal Harbour Police Captain Miguel De La Rossa. “He had added himself to somebody else’s account. When they notified the individual, the individual said he has no authorization whatsoever. I don’t even know this individual.”

After employees suspected this was a fraud situation, police said, Exum fled the scene and found himself in the gated Bal Harbour Village.

“Right now, as you see, it’s the middle of the day. There’s a lot of sunshine, you can think, ‘How could he be hiding here?’ This place is pitch black at 1 in the morning,” Groisman said.

Officials found Exum 10 hours later. “We had K-9 dogs, helicopters overhead,” Groisman said.

According to police, after the suspect jumped the fence and landed into a homeowner’s backyard, he hid by a tree. Police set up a large perimeter in the early morning hours until they caught Exum.

“It was definitely harrowing, but we have a lot of faith in our police department,” said the homeowner. “They were on it. They took care of this, one, two, three. I was very, very impressed with them.”

The chase was the talk of Bal Harbor, Wednesday. “Bal Harbor residents have high expectations for this police department, but they also equip us in order to meet those expectations,” De La Rossa said.

The suspect is facing several charges.

If you have any information on this crime, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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