NewsHillsborough County


Off-duty deputy finds burglars in his mother-in-law's house; helps get them arrested in Riverview

Posted at 11:29 AM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 17:30:27-04

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Two burglars quickly discovered they picked the wrong house to break into.

An off-duty deputy visiting from Mississippi entered his mother-in-law's house to find two men, Jovanni Lozano, 18, and Kevin Noriega Cruz, 18, inside.

James Murray,48, works for the Lamar County Sheriff's Office in Mississippi and chased the two men out of the home.

As Murray chased them, Lozano fired a shot from a handgun at him but missed.

In a statement to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Murray said, "When the guy pulled a weapon on me, I knew I'd have to just keep eyes on him and get as much information to the dispatcher as possible."

Deputies used that information to converge on the area and enlisted the help of aviation and K-9 units.

The K-9 team entered the Riverview Flower Farm, where K-9 "Specter" pointed out a locked office door in the building.

Both men were inside and arrested without incident.

"As a deputy myself with 21 years experience, this was impressive. The response was quick. I was very impressed with the amount of resources used on this," Murray said.

Both men are charged with Aggravated Assault, Armed Burglary and Burglary of a Structure.

Noriega Cruz also faces a charge for possession of cocaine.

Lozano and Noriega Cruz are suspects in other property crimes in the immediate area that the Sheriff's Office is currently investigating.