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Man arrested after string of small business robberies in Hillsborough County

Joseph Williams 39
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 16:40:59-05

HILLSBOROUGH CO, Fla-- — Deputies say they have arrested the man linked to several business burglaries during December 2020.

According to the Hillsborough sheriff, on December 19, 2020, Joseph Williams, 39, used a piece of concrete to break the glass and gain entry into the Taste of China restaurant, located at 8476 Sheldon Road in Town 'N' Country. Once inside, he robbed the cash register.

Similar burglaries were also reported at the Keystone Cafe, located at 8741 Gunn Highway, Bahama Bucks, located at 8527 Gunn Highway, the New China restaurant, located at 17625 Gunn Highway, and Kang Gardens, located at 12221 W Linebaugh Avenue.

Each time, the suspect broke the front glass and attempted to steal money from the register. With the help of surveillance video, Williams was identified as a suspect in each of the burglaries.

On January 2, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Williams for a charge of burglary of an unoccupied structure in relation to the Taste of China burglary.

On Monday, January 4, Williams was found driving in the same red truck seen on surveillance video at the businesses.

With help from the Pasco Sheriff's Office, Williams was arrested. Detectives say Williams could also be linked to similar business burglaries in Pasco and Hernando Counties. An investigation is ongoing.

Williams was charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure and other drug-related charges.

"This last year has been extremely difficult for local small businesses, and being burglarized by this individual only added insult to injury," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Through diligent detective work, we were able to locate Joseph Williams and take him off the streets, so that he can no longer target our hardworking citizens. We will continue working to ensure that justice is served."