Victims help police capture fleeing suspects

Local business owners report burglary


The owners of a local business in Cocoa reported a burglary and then using GPS technology were able to help lead police to the suspects. 

Officers responded to a reported burglary at the 700 block of Industry Road early Friday morning. The owners of a construction business reported two of their construction pickup trucks had been stolen. Inside the vehicles were GPS tracking devices that the owners used to help police with finding the approximate location of the trucks just south of State Route 524 and east of I-95. A Brevard County Sheriff’s Office helicopter and K-9 teams assisted the patrol officers that were responding to the area.

Shortly after, one suspect, Austin Hopfer, was located and taken into custody without incident.

Right before officers were about to call off the search for other suspects, K-9 Vader, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, lead his handler, Deputy David Bowes to a second suspect, later identified as William Richard, who was hiding in the woods. 

Both suspects are facing felony charges involving criminal mischief, burglary, and grand theft.

Hopfer will also face a charge of violation of probation stemming back to a prior burglary arrest.

The investigation is ongoing.