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Deputies arrest three smash & grab vehicle burglary suspects following a preschool theft

Suspects in Pinellas & Pasco County burglaries
Posted at 4:05 AM, Mar 30, 2017

Deputies arrested two men and a woman suspected of committing multiple smash-and-grab vehicle burglaries in Pasco and Pinellas County.

According to Pinellas deputies, on Wednesday afternoon Pasco County detectives were tracking a stolen cell phone taken during a smash-and-grab burglary.

Pasco authorities notified their Pinellas counterparts the suspects were heading towards Pinellas County and were targeting vehicles in daycare center parking lots.

Pinellas deputies were searching for the suspects when dispatchers received a call that a smash-and-grab burglary had just occurred at the Oak Crest Preschool at 1220 East Lake Road in unincorporated Tarpon Springs.

A deputy on patrol quickly located the suspects' vehicle, a 2017 Chrysler van, parked near the intersection of McMullen Booth Road and State Road 580, in Clearwater.

When deputies approached the van, all three suspects inside got out and ran off on foot.

The Sheriff's Office used K-9 deputies and its Flight Unit to track down, locate and arrest 22-year-old Jorge Burleigh, 28-year-old Whitney Smith, and 38-year-old Reginal Williams.

Burleigh and Smith are from Hollywood, Florida, while Williams is from Lauderdale Lakes.

Deputies found stolen property and valuables inside the suspect's van belonging to victims of multiple vehicle burglaries in Pasco and Pinellas counties. Deputies also found personal property they believe belongs to victims in other Florida counties.

The Sheriff's Office believes Burleigh, Smith, and Williams frequented daycare center parking lots looking for personal belongings and valuables such as purses, computers, or phones left unattended in vehicles.

Deputies transported Smith and Williams to the Pinellas County Jail without incident. Burleigh was first taken to a local hospital for treatment of a canine bite he sustained while running from deputies. He was later booked into the jail.

All three have been charged with one count of Burglary to an Unoccupied Dwelling.

Pasco County detectives are preparing additional criminal charges against the three suspects for the crimes they are suspected of committing in that county.