Suspects burglarizing homes in South Tampa captured

- Tampa police say they've caught three serial robbery suspects responsible for 25 home burglaries in South Tampa.

Police arrested Leyanet Morales-Torres, 24, Alejandro Blanco-Poza, 26, and Diego Perera, 25, in the burglaries burglaries which date back to March.

Police say the suspect mostly stole jewelry, but it was a stolen credit card that led police to the suspects. 

"The use of the stolen credit card was our initial indication on who we were looking for. We contacted the store, they had surveillance video, which helped us identify the subject. She was actually an employee at the store," Detective Brett Owens explained in a news conference Thursday.

Two suspects, Morales-Torres and Blanco-Poza, were arrested in South Florida and had numerous pieces of stolen jewelry in their possession. Police say Perera, who was arrested in Manatee County, was identified as one of the suspects in a widely shared video from a home surveillance camera.

All three suspects face numerous charges including grand theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, and burglary. Detectives say the reason no one really recognized the trio is because they are not from Tampa. 

Meanwhile, victims like Derek Cunard lost valuables and, more importantly, a sense of security.

"Immediately as the door opened, I could see the hallway was totally ransacked, clothes everywhere," Cunard recalled of the day he came home to find the aftermath of a burglary.

Major Eli Vazquez explained, it took a team of detectives working long hours to crack the case.

"This has been a long, drawn-out, extensive investigation. I want to thank all these detectives behind me. They did all the hard work," Vazquez said at the news conference.

The next video these three will be featured in will be when they make their first appearance in court on a string of charges, including burglary.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Suspects burglarizing homes in South Tampa captured
  • 13 dogs dead following Pasco home explosion
  • Woman shot after allegedly pointing shotgun at deputies
  • TPD: Suspect shot after attacking officers behind house
  • Man who allegedly shot Kissimmee officers makes first appearance
  • N-word painted on Citrus Co. family's house
  • MOSI hosting eclipse-viewing party
  • Total Solar Eclipse: Millions converge across US to see sun go dark
  • Ireland Nugent celebrates turning 7 years old
  • Arrest made in deadly hit-and-run