Ramon Junior Rivera
Ramon Junior Rivera

By Matt Wiley

The man behind numerous business and auto burglaries in the Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills areas is behind bars, following his arrest on September 16.

According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), Ramon Junior Rivera, 24, a convicted burglary felon (for burglary and weapons possession) who was released from prison last July, is the man behind at least ten business burglaries stretching from Wesley Chapel to Zephyrhills and even into Hillsborough County, deputies say.

The PCSO arrest report states that Rivera, who lives in Meadow Pointe, began his crime spree as far back as June of this year.

“Hopefully, business owners feel some relief with this guy behind bars,” says PCSO spokesperson Doug Tobin. “This is a significant break in the case. We’re working with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and Zephyrhills Police Department (ZPD) because we believe that he worked in those areas, as well.”

Tobin says that after being arrested, Rivera confessed to ten burglaries that took place in both Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills. So far, Rivera has been charged with three auto burglaries, as well as burglaries at the Subway and Tokyo Grill & Sushi on Eiland Blvd. in eastern Wesley Chapel and burglarizing Latin Twist, the Hungry Greek and Dickey’s BBQ Pit, all of which are located in the Shoppes of Wesley Chapel shopping plaza across Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. from Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel (FHWC). He also is charged with burglarizing Boyd’s Jewelers in Zephyrhills.

Tobin says that Rivera typically would throw something through the window of the business or automobile and take what he could. PCSO reports that a large amount of the property was recovered. During interviews, Rivera confessed and described in detail his criminal activity.

In addition to the burglary charges, Rivera also was charged with not registering with PCSO as a convicted felon within 48 hours of establishing residence in Pasco County.

Rivera has been charged with six counts of unarmed burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, three counts of auto burglary, three counts of grand theft, fraudulent use of personal identification info and failing to register as a convicted felon. At our press time, Rivera was still being held at the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center in lieu of a $59,100 bond.

Additional charges could be added, although no additional information was available at our press time.

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