Police tell woman who spent 3 weeks in hospital they found 3 people living in her home

(As originally published with bells and whistles, Tue, April 5th 2022, 5:16 AM EDT)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A woman who’d been in the hospital and then rehab for weeks found out her home had been burglarized, and police say they caught three people in the act.

A West Palm Beach police officer was called to the scene on Lilac Court on Thursday and said he met the property manager. She said a neighbor told her someone may have broken into apartment 102 and explained the situation with the tenant.

The officer wrote in the arrest report, “I knocked on the door to the apartment and announced ‘police.’ At this time no one came to the door and [complex name] maintenance used the key and opened the door. As maintenance opened the door, I observed a [man] inside of the apartment.” The officer wrote the man was detained in handcuffs pending further investigation and identified as Dennis Manning, 56.

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At that point, he and another officer cleared the rest of the apartment and found two other people: Larry Sylvester, 35, and Leslie Ann Barcus, 53.

He noted in the arrest report, “Within the apartment I observed furniture and clothing strewn throughout the apartment. The bedroom and closet appeared to be rummaged through as well. I observed a television box for a 50 inch Spectre Box but did not observe the television inside the apartment. I observed no forced entry into the apartment.”

Next, the officer wrote he went to the rehab facility and met with the victim. She said an emergency crew took her to the hospital and “one of the medics locked her door prior to leaving the residence.”

The officer wrote, “[The victim] was adamant she did not give permission to anyone to stay in her home or give a set of keys to anyone while she was gone. I presented a picture of each suspect located inside of the apartment. According to [the victim], she stated she does not know or seen the suspects who were located in the residence. [She] added she did not allow suspects to stay there. [She] advised there should be two televisions inside of her home. I notified her I only located a smaller television in the bedroom and the larger 50 inch television was missing.” She said that TV was worth $500.

The suspects were taken to the West Palm Beach police booking facility.

Manning was searched and the officer wrote, “A glass cylindrical tube with burn marks on the tip along with a small square white rock-like substance was located inside of his right sock. I identified the glass tube as a crack pipe and the rock-like substance as crack cocaine. The crack cocaine tested positive for cocaine and weighed .2 grams.”

Barcus, from Fort Lauderdale, told the officer “she arrived in the area by an unknown male on a motorcycle.” He said she told him she walked around, saw a man who identified himself as “Dave” and that “Dave” said he had an apartment that belonged to a friend. Then, she went there since she didn’t know the area and was there 20 minutes before the police arrived. She said she doesn’t know who lives in apartment 102.

But Barcus got charged with a crime before she said any of that.

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Dennis Manning, Leslie Barcus and Larry Sylvester are all charged with burglary and petit theft, March 31, 2022. (Palm Beach Co. Sheriff’s Office)

“Upon initial contact with Barcus, she identified herself as Timothy Duncan,” the officer wrote. “Due to her features, it was believed Barcus is a transgender woman with male being assigned at birth. Eventually Barcus provided her accurate information as Leslie Ann Barcus.”

Then, the officer spoke with Manning, who knew the first name of the victim who lives in apartment 102. “Manning stated he has known [her] her for a long time and they frequently ‘drink and smoke’ with each other.” He knew she’d been in the hospital and said “he ran into her brother who advised [her] apartment had been broken into and someone had stolen a television. Manning advised [her] brother asked him to watch [her] apartment for her but did not provide a key but the apartment had been left unlocked. Manning advised he has been ‘in and out’ of the apartments since [the tenant] was hospitalized. Manning could not provide a name or phone number for [her] ‘brother.’ Manning stated he had been letting other people stay at the apartment while he is at work so they can watch the apartment. Manning advised today [Thursday] was the first day he met Barcus.”

He referred to Sylvester as “Flacco,” said he occasionally comes to the apartment, and suggested “a neighbor that [the victim] does not get along with possibly broken to the home and stole the television.”

Finally, he spoke to Sylvester who told him he knows the tenant of another unit and that he used to stay with his cousin who lives next door. “During that time, Sylvester advised he occasionally hung out. Sylvester advised he was told about the apartment being unlocked by a neighbor he knows as ‘PJ.’ Sylvester stated ‘PJ’ told him no one was there but stated he was ‘scared’ to go in so he can take a shower. According to Sylvester, since [the victim] has been hospitalized, Barcus and Manning have been living at the apartment. Sylvester advised he met Manning 2 days ago and today [Thursday] went inside of the residence due to Manning and Barcus being there so he could take a shower. According to Sylvester, ‘PJ’ had broken into the apartment prior to Barcus and Manning staying at the apartment. Sylvester advised he was wrong for entering the residence without the permission of the actual resident.”

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Dennis Manning is charged with burglary, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cocaine, and petit theft.

Leslie Barcus is charged with burglary, petit theft, and providing a false name to law enforcement.

Larry Sylvester is charged with burglary and petit theft.

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