BY ADAM H. BEASLEY abeasley@MiamiHerald.com
A botched home burglary by three men led to a wild police pursuit and a blocks-wide lockdown, with heavily-armed SWAT team members searching door-to-door in Northwest Miami-Dade County for the culprits Tuesday.
By evening, two of the men police believed responsible were in custody. The third slipped through their grasp.
Police said they found two assault weapons in a car used by the men, who allegedly tried to break into a Hialeah house Tuesday morning.
The incident prompted the lockdown of two Northwest Miami-Dade schools.
Neighbors reported seeing armed men trying to break into an unoccupied home in the 700 block of East 18th Street about 11 a.m., Hialeah police spokesman Frank Gonzalez said.
The burglars fled the home in a silver Dodge Magnum, and a patrol officer in the area chased them to Northwest 16th Avenue and 41st Street in Miami, where the car blew a tire and came to a stop, according to police. Officers apprehended two men and set up a perimeter to search for a third, he said.
Two AK-47s were found in the vehicle, Gonzalez said.
Police found one of the men underneath a nearby house.
The second man was on top of a house but jumped off the roof when he saw a police helicopter.
Police blocked off Northwest 41st Street and brought in the SWAT team and an ambulance.
Allapattah Middle, 1331 NW 46th St., and Lenora B. Smith Elementary, 4700 NW 12th Ave., were locked down as a precaution for most of the school day.
The lockdown was lifted around around 2:15 p.m., district spokesman John Schuster said.