Suspect in fumigation tent home burglaries arrested in St. Pete

Police searching for another suspect

A short time later, down the alley in the rafters of a nearby garage, St. Petersburg Police arrested 25 year old Christopher Alexander.  Alexander has been charged in connection with a series of fumigation tent home burglaries. So far, he's been charged with three of the burglaries; but police expect there to be additional charges.

"He takes his life in his hands whens he does this type of thing," said Mike Puetz with the St. Petersburg Police Department.   

According to police, at least twelve tented homes have been burglarized in the last five months.

"These houses can be easy marks.   They know that there's nobody home.  There's not likely anybody that's going to walk up in onto them since it is a tented house and there's poison inside," explained Puetz.

Whatever the reason, most homes are tented for 2-3 days to treat an infestation. A timeframe that provides plenty of opportunity.

"He admitted to us that he in fact got sick from doing this," recalled Puetz.

A break in the case came when Alexander's wife Candice was arrested for selling stolen property.  The silverware came from one of the tented homes.  Jim Bartlett is a certified appraiser at McNeal's Antiques and Jewelry and recognized the name of the silverware police were looking for.  It was in the store safe.

"I haven't seen it for years.  And all of a sudden I have a bag of it and they're looking for a bag of it.  So, I put two and two together quick and made a phone call," said Bartlett

St. Petersburg Police are now turning to social media in an effort to help locate a third suspect in the burglaries.

Michael Murphy is featured on the department's Facebook and police are hoping that someone will recognize him.  

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