Burglars take jewelry from more than 20 South Tampa homes

Tampa police are asking the South Tampa community to remain alert after burglars swiped pricey jewelry from nearly a dozen homes.

According to police, at least 23 homes have been broken into since May and detectives believe they are all connected.

In every case, the thieves seem to have been after high-end jewelry.

"We’ve been a little surprised when we see cash, you see electronics that are definitely of value, in many cases they are leaving that and going for the expensive jewelry,” said Steve Hegarty, a spokesman for the Tampa Police Department.

Investigators say tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry has been stolen. More than $50,000 was taken from a single home.

The police department released a color-coded map showing the most concentrated areas of reported break-ins. All of them have happened south of Kennedy Boulevard.

Detectives believe the thieves are working as a group.

“It would appear that it’s at least a two-person operation because, in some cases, they actually removed a safe from a house, and those things are pretty heavy,” said Hegarty.

All of the homes that were broken into were locked, said Hegarty. The burglars broke windows to get inside.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Tampa Police Department.