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Police: Father gave son lessons on burglary

By JANE MEINHARDT

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 3, 2000


CLEARWATER -- Police say a 13-year-old boy from Puerto Rico spent part of his first day in his father's custody learning how to commit burglary.

Then, officers say, he helped his father break into cars at Clearwater Beach.

That was Thursday afternoon. The boy spent that night at the Juvenile Assessment Center while his father went to jail.

"His father just got custody of him, and it was his first day with him here," said Clearwater Detective Phil Jackson. "His dad was telling him what to do, what to get out of the vehicle and what doors to try. Wonder what his mother's going to think?"

Angel Morales Ruiz, who turned 35 Thursday, was charged with child abuse and three counts of burglary. Ruiz, of 1432 Rogers St., was being held Friday at Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

His son was also charged with burglary.

Jackson and other burglary detectives were watching cars in a parking lot on Rockaway Street in Clearwater Beach. They saw a man accompanied by a boy, later identified as Ruiz and his son, trying to get into a 1998 Ford Escort, police say.

Then the pair tried to get another car. Police say they were arrested after they entered an unlocked Ford Bronco and took a dive mask and sunglasses.

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