Lawyer identifies suspected Brickell burglar as man who robbed his Coral Gables office

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - A suspected burglar who robbed a Brickell office building has been placed behind bars after a lawyer identified him on 7News as the same man who robbed his office.

Attorney Brian Barakat said when he saw the story of the man stealing a laptop from the Brickell office building on Sept. 1, he had no idea he would come face to face with the alleged burglar at his Coral Gables office.

“He was stealing laptops from offices on Brickell, so when we saw it, we circulated it to the staff to be on the lookout,” he said.

It’s a good thing they were on the lookout, because Barakat said he tried to do the same thing at his office.

“He enters here, sort of walks back here and looks around, and he steps into this office,” he said.

Surveillance footage from Sept. 1 showed the man in blue walking into the office at 800 Brickell Avenue while employees were out to lunch. He’s seen wandering around for a minute, then puts a laptop under his shirt and takes off.

On Tuesday, the man, who is wearing blue again, is seen walking through the back door of Barakat’s office on Ponce de Leon and El Maria Avenue at around 12:30 p.m. Staff said he was asking for donations for a football team, but they noticed some suspicious similarities to the Brickell burglary.

“What’s really shocking about the whole thing is that it’s the exact same clothes. The exact same clothes,” Barakat said.

The man walks out, then goes in through the front entrance, looks around and even takes a peek at what’s behind the desk.

Luckily, one of the attorneys was working with their door open and saw him creep closer.

“The gentleman was talking to her, but he was looking at her laptop, and it made her very uncomfortable,” Barakat said.

The man wanders around some more and eventually leaves, but Coral Gables Police officers were waiting for him outside.

Police said he’s now facing charges for the Brickell burglary and the incident in Coral Gables, and Barakat said he’s grateful no one got hurt.

“We’re just happy everybody’s safe. The stuff is… it’s just stuff, it can all be replaced. I’m just glad everybody’s safe and well,” he said.

Police said that man, only identified as a 24-year-old, is connected to several other crimes. He’s currently facing charges for burglary with battery and attempted murder.

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