Man arrested in connection with Ponte Vedra armed burglary

Elderly Ponte Vedra man fights off armed home burglary suspect

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A 26-year-old St. Johns man was arrested Thursday night in connection with a Ponte Vedra armed burglary case, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office (SJSO).

The suspect has been identified as John Matthew Kennedy of 157 Celtic Wedding Drive in St. Johns. Kennedy was apprehended after fleeing arrest along Canal Boulevard. A K-9 unit was dispatched, and he was arrested on North Roscoe Boulevard after he jumped a fence and attempted to hide along a bulkhead. SJSO credits numerous citizen calls to locating Kennedy.

On Wednesday at about 1 a.m., deputies responded to a report of a burglary on Sea Winds Lane in Ponte Vedra Beach. The homeowners reported that there was a male burglar with a knife and flashlight attempting to rob the closet of their master bedroom. When confronted, the suspect, wearing tan/brown pants, a shirt and a white bandana or handkerchief over his face, demanded money. Afterward, the 77-year-old homeowner armed himself with a knife and the suspect fled the residence through the front door. 

Deputies reported discovering a screen in the back exterior of the residence that had been cut and removed, in addition to muddy shoe impressions inside the window of the removed screen. The arrest report states that several drawers were found open and rummaged through, as well as jewelry boxes moved to the center of the bedroom floor. 

Also according to the arrest report, video footage from the homeowners association captured a flatbed tow truck entering and leaving the neighborhood during the time when the burglary was committed. Another camera in the neighborhood captured a white male subject wearing what appeared to be brown/tan/green pants and a tan or grey shirt ringing the doorbell of a house on Sea Winds Lane and then running away. 

After contacting the owner of the towing service, deputies learned that Kennedy was employed and assigned the company truck. The truck’s GPS determined that after exiting the Sea Winds neighborhood, the truck drove to Klix Arcade, an internet café on Monument Road in Jacksonville. Deputies said video footage from the café showed a man wearing the same clothing observed in the video at Sea Winds entering shortly after the burglary was reported. 

John Matthew Kennedy was booked in the St. Johns County Jail at 9 p.m. Thursday night. 

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