By Sean Bowes
Tampa Police Department (TPD) detectives are still searching for the burglar or burglars who have broken into at least seven homes in New Tampa subdivisions such as Hunter’s Green, Heritage Isles and West Meadows.
The break-ins started on November 11 at 10730 Plantation Bay Dr. in Heritage Isles. At around 9:30 p.m., the unknown suspect(s) smashed a side bedroom window to the home with a decorative landscaping brick, setting off the alarm and fleeing to their next targeted home in the New Tampa area. It turns out that the landscaping bricks have been a trend in the string of robberies that has hit the New Tampa area in the last month.
Nothing was stolen from the house on Plantation Bay Dr. because the alarm startled the burglars; however, other residents weren’t so lucky. A number of valuables, including jewelry, high-end TVs, cameras, video game consoles and in one case, a collection of firearms, have all been reported stolen in the last 45 days in burglaries that started with a decorative brick smashing a window or sliding glass door.
Nearly all of the burglaries took place on Friday or Saturday nights, with the exception of a break-in at a Hunter’s Green home located on the edge of Flatwoods Park which was broken into on a Tuesday night. A Nintendo Wii video game console and jewelry were stolen from that home.
Det. Bryan McClain of the TPD is asking New Tampa residents to spread the word to their neighbors to report suspicious persons or noises in their neighborhood. The most recent burglary took place on December 12, at Heritage Isles, where the suspect(s) again used a brick paver to gain access to the house. The residents of the home were away for the weekend, according to a TPD report.
Fingerprints were lifted from five of the burgled homes and blood was taken from one other. According to TPD spokesperson Lisa Timmer, no arrests had been made and no suspects had been named at our press time.
For information about TPD’s “Vacation Watch Program,” a free service where TPD officers will check on your home up to three times a day when you’re out of town, visit TampaGov.net.