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‘Spiderman’ May Be Held in Miami

July 2, 1998

MIAMI (AP) _ A former paratrooper in police custody is believed to be the high-rise burglar known as ``Spiderman,″ The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

The newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, reported that authorities are close to charging Derrick G. James, 33, as the agile burglar known for scaling high-rise luxury buildings and taking millions of dollars in jewels and other items.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Wednesday that charges had not been filed and would not identify the suspect, who was in custody Wednesday.

James, who has served prison time for grand theft, burglary and forgery, was being held without bond Wednesday on unrelated traffic and probation violation charges.

Authorities would only say that Spiderman’s alleged accomplice, 28-year-old Derrick Davis, has been arrested and charged with 32 felony counts of forgery and grand theft.

Spiderman worked in six counties, hitting high-rises from Miami-Dade to Brevard, authorities said. In one Palm Beach case, he stole more than $1 million worth of jewelry. He reportedly knew jewelry well enough to take the good stuff, leaving the faux kind behind.

To get inside, the thief climbed from balcony to balcony, scaling as high as the 30th floor, authorities said.

Police believe James did all the climbing himself, but used accomplices for transportation and to fence stolen items.

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