Burglar caught on camera stealing from home evacuated during Hurricane Irma

PD: Man possibly connected to string of burglaries
Posted at 11:16 PM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 23:16:01-04

The St. Petersburg Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a man caught on camera breaking into a home evacuated ahead of Hurricane Irma. 

Video surveillance captured a stranger roaming through someone's empty home, crowbar in hand, rummaging through drawers while using a flashlight to see. 

Investigators say the man stole several valuables, including car titles, from a house in the 100 block of 17th Avenue south. 

"She came home and she saw the backdoor broken and she's the one who made the call to the police," said Kema Malki, who lives in St. Pete's Old Southeast neighborhood. 

Malki and her roommate are victims of a similar break-in from the same morning, Sunday September 10, just hours before Irma swept through Pinellas county. 

"He took the TV, took some jewelry and pretty much just helped himself to the fridge," said Malki. "He spent a good amount of time here. It took him long enough, it seems like, to get in."

Investigators believe the man seen in the video is responsible for a string of burglaries in the area. Hitting several empty homes in a mandatory evacuation zone. "The first thing I did when I got back is I washed anything he possibly touched."

If you have any helpful information, call the St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780, or you can text the keyword “SPPD” and your anonymous tip to 847-411 (Tip-411.)