Police: Uber driver targeted seaside homes when people were away

USA TODAY NETWORKThe (Salisbury, Md.) Daily Times 9:34 p.m. ET

Feb. 16, 2017

SALISBURY, Md. — An Uber driver has been arrested in connection with multiple burglaries in the coastal Delaware towns of Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island.

Delaware State Police, in conjunction with the Bethany Beach Police Department, announced the arrest of 26-year-old Saddam A. Awadallah of Frankford. Awadallah was tracked down in Tennessee and extradited back to the First State on Feb. 13, state police said.

State police said Awadallah worked as an Uber driver for customers in Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island. While patrons were away at businesses and restaurants in Ocean City and Dewey Beach, state police say Awadallah would burglarize their homes for credit cards, computers, watches, cellphones, tablets, sunglasses and other items of value.

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Awadallah has been charged with three counts of second-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, theft from a victim older than 62, 11 counts of theft and criminal mischief. Following arraignment in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas, he was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on a $31,000 bond, state police said.

The burglaries are still under investigation. Anyone who may have been a victim or might have information relating to this case is asked to contact Delaware State Police detective T. Powell at 302-752-3807 or submit a tip at Delware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333. Tipsters can also submit information at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com. or by texting the tip to 274637.


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Uber driver accused of burglarizing home of Plantation customer

Brandi Begerow, 33, accused of stealing gun from under man's mattress

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor , Michael Seiden - Reporter

Posted: 5:53 PM, February 08, 2017

PLANTATION, Fla. - An Uber driver was arrested Tuesday, more than a week after she burglarized the Plantation home of one of her customers, authorities said.

The incident was reported early Jan. 30 at a home in the area of Southwest 59th Avenue and 16th Court.

Brandi Begerow, 33, of Hialeah, was arrested Tuesday at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, while she was visiting a friend, police said.

According to an incident report, the victim took an Uber from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport early in the morning to his home in Plantation after flying in from New York.

Surveillance video from his home shows him and a woman, believed to be Begerow, going inside.

Police said Begerow stayed at the home for a couple of hours and then came outside through the open garage. Police said Begerow backed her car halfway through the driveway and then left.

The victim told detectives that he woke up later that morning to find that his garage had been rummaged through and items were missing.

"I woke up at like 3 in the afternoon, and I wasn't even sure where I was at first," the man told Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden in a telephone interview.

The victim, who asked not to be identified, said Begerow offered him water after picking him up. He believes she drugged him.

"I shouldn't have drank that," the man said.

The man said he let Begerow inside to use the bathroom, but he doesn't remember much after that. Among the items stolen were a handgun from under his mattress, a small safe and a bag containing a GoPro with accessories.

The man said $60 in cash was also taken from his wallet that was left on the kitchen counter. But that wasn't all that was stolen. "She went into my filing cabinet and took my tax returns from 2012 to 2015," the man said.

Begerow faces charges of armed burglary and grand theft of a firearm. The victim said he hopes others will learn from his mistake. "Why would you let a stranger into your house?" Seiden asked. "Because I'm a nice guy and I didn't think there was any harm," the man said.

Uber said Begerow's app has been disabled.