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A Melbourne woman called 911 after she heard people banging on her garage door and attempting to open windows.
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A Sebastian man was arrested Thursday in connection with a Melbourne burglary that took place Saturday on Hawthorne Drive, according to Melbourne police.

James Irwin Bartee, 22, was taken into custody about 11 a.m. Thursday by Vero Beach police on charges of burglary of an occupied dwelling and resisting an officer without violence after police issued a warrant for his arrest when he and another man fled the Hawthorne Drive residence about 4:30 a.m. Saturday as Melbourne police attempted to apprehend them, police say. 

The two suspects didn’t steal anything from the home, which is in the Ballard Park subdivision, according to police.

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Officials believe the other suspect in the burglary was 23-year-old Rico Arocha of Sebastian, whose body washed ashore near Ballard Park around 10 a.m. Monday, though a link between the two incidences hasn’t been confirmed.

Arocha was last seen Friday, when he told his mother, Susan Arocha, he was going to Melbourne on a fishing trip at Ballard Park. 

Rico Malique Arocha (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO FROM SEBASTIAN POLICE DEPARTMENT)

Arocha’s mom reported her son missing to police Sunday when she hadn’t heard from him. Susan also told police she didn’t know how Arocha got to Melbourne. He doesn’t have a car or a license, according to a police report. 

Arocha, police think, was the suspect who swam out into the water Saturday in the area of Ballard Park while attempting to elude law enforcement. 

He was seen swimming out into the middle of the river, refusing to comply with orders to return to shore, before calling for help soon after, police say. Two officers swam out in an attempt to rescue the man, but couldn’t locate him in the water, according to a statement from Melbourne police.

Bartee is being held on $16,000 bond. 

Sheets is a breaking news reporter at FLORIDA TODAY.

Contact Sheets at 317-444-3208

or tsheets@floridatoday.com.

Twitter: @sheets_tess

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