A pair of men who broke into a southeastern Sarasota home on New Year's, terrorizing and robbing three teenagers will spend 40 years each in prison.
A Sarasota County jury on Thursday found guilty Jonathan Michael Perez, 22 of 2841 Stoneland Lane, Sarasota and Elasad Jamie Alsaedi, 25 of 8207 Collier Park Place, Tampa on the following charges:
• armed burglary
• armed robbery
• armed kidnapping
• aggravated assault
The credits quick-thinking deputies familiar with the neighborhood acting on information provided by the victim and sound detective work led by Detective J. Darby, to collect enough evidence to link the suspects and strengthen the likelihood of a stiff conviction.
It all started around 1 a.m. on New Year's when Perez and Alsaedi invaded a home on the 4900 block of Elizabeth Avenue where an 11-year-old, 14-year-old and 15-year-old at home found themselves robbed at gunpoint, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The 11-year-old told detectives that he could feel the shotgun's muzzle placed against his head while one of the men grabbed his shirt, all the while the two men stole three computers, a safe with an estimated $7,000 worth of gold and cash inside and a backpack, according to the affidavit.
One of the victims told detectives that he was "100 percent sure" that the man with the shotgun was someone he knew — specifically Perez.
With that information, Sgt. Tutko scouted the area and found Perez, whom he had also known from prior contacts, at 3:30 a.m. at Bee Ridge and Iola and stopped the car at 3:58 a.m.
Both suspects were in the car, but when the car was stopped, Perez ran from police, prompting a search that lasted for hours, according to the affidavit.
Meanwhile back at the crime scene, forensics specialists recovered shoe prints near the back of the home and found a Newport cigarette butt.
When detectives interviewed Alsaedi, they found that his shoe prints were consistent with those recovered at the crime scene and that he also had a pack of Newport cigarettes on him, according to the affidavit.
Perez was able to be found later that day and was taken into custody at 8 a.m. and refused to talk to law enforcement, according to the affidavit, but detectives had enough evidence from one of the victims and having been seen in the car that contained the stolen property from the crime scene along with other witness accounts.
Perez also had two prior felony convictions for dealing in stolen property and providing false information on a pawn ticket.