Vehicle burglar arrested after Miami Beach homeowner holds iPhone like gun until police arrive

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A suspected vehicle burglar was taken into custody after a Miami Beach homeowner held his iPhone like a gun to keep him at the scene until police arrived.

The incident happened along Alton Road, near 45th Street, Monday night.

The homeowner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said his wife saw someone rummaging through the couple’s Mercedes AMG S-class sedan.

“There is somebody breaking into the car, and I said, ‘What?'” the homeowner said. “I immediately called 911, and while talking to the police, I came outside. I pointed the phone to him, and I said, ‘Lay down.’ I start screaming, ‘What are you doing there?’ And he tried to come towards me, and I said, ‘Stay there. Don’t come here.'”

The homeowner said the ordeal lasted between five to six minutes.

He said he yelled at the crook, later identified as 27-year-old Sheldon Johnson, with a commanding tone.

The homeowner said that his iPhone served a dual purpose.

“The phone is black, so just pointing at him, it’s just like a weapon,” he said.

The homeowner said he told Johnson to get on the ground.

“Face down, and I said, ‘Put your hands behind your back,'” he recalled. “He put his hands on his back, and I was talking to the police.”

Miami Beach Police took Johnson into custody shortly after.

“[The police officers] said only one thing, ‘Good job,'” the homeowner said.

Johnson now faces several charges, including burglary, attempted grand theft auto and resisting arrest without violence.

Police said Johnson was wanted by police under an alias for the attempted grand theft auto and resisting arrest without violence charges.

He appeared in bond court, Wednesday, but this is not his first run-in with the law.

Johnson was previously arrested for petty theft, burglary and robbery.

The victim said the Mercedes was also broken into and ripped off in late May, but it remains unknown if the crimes are connected.

However, at this household, whether it’s with their guard dog, security cameras or an iPhone, the homeowner said it’s all about protecting it.

“You know, it’s not a vigilante,” he said. “It’s just to defend your property and nothing else.”

The homeowner said the Mercedes was unlocked the night of the attempted burglary.

Johnson remains behind bars at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade without bond.

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