A serial burglar is on the prowl in South Tampa. Police are searching for a suspect connected to a dozen burglaries at business there over the last three months.
In most of the cases, the suspect used a brick or fire extinguisher to smash the front window or door of the business to get inside. He left empty handed at some of the establishments, but got away with money, cigarettes, a safe and big screen televisions at others.
The burglaries occurred at the following locations:
- March 30: Tate's Pizza, 3342 S. West Shore Blvd. - 65" Toshiba television stolen
- March 30: Summer House, 3620 S. Manhattan Ave. - Safe taken
- March 30: South Tampa Dentist & Cosmetic Dentistry, 4306 W. Kensington Ave. - nothing removed
- March 30: Edson's Barbershop, 4007 S. MacDill Ave. - 55" flat screen Television stolen
- April 1: Graffiti Junction, 3114 W. Bay to Bay Blvd. - nothing taken
- April 1: Farm Store, 3113 W. Bay to Bay Blvd. - Cigarettes, lottery tickets and cash stolen
- April 28: Tate's Pizza, 3342 S. West Shore Blvd. - 65" TV stolen
- June 2: 1 Stepp Food Store, 4009 S. MacDill Ave. - Cash and three signed blank checks stolen
- June 2: Toast and Wine Cafe, 3501 S. Manhattan Ave. - nothing taken
- June 26: Sun Country Cleaners, 4075 Henderson Blvd. - nothing taken
- June 26: Parks Food, 3807 S. Manhattan Ave. - $450 stolen
- June 26: Carmel Kitchen/Wine Bar, 3601 W. Swann Ave. - nothing taken
"He just snatched the TV right off the wall and walked out the front door with it," said Michael Tate, owner of Tate's Italian Restaurant. Two televisions were stolen from the restaurant in a week.
"It really puts pressure on us, being a small business and a restaurant, to keep having to purchase these things, because it cuts into our expenses and our profits," continued Tate.
Police are asking for the public's assistance in identifying the suspect. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Anyone who recognizes the suspect should call Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 800-873-TIPS (8477).