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TPD investigating pattern of 23 residential burglaries in South Tampa since May

Posted at 3:55 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 16:00:30-04

Tampa Police is investigating a pattern of 23 residential burglaries in South Tampa since May.

High-end jewelry has been the target, as hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of high-end jewelry has been taken.

In September alone, there have been seven burglaries, all believed to be related, TPD says.

The break-ins were in the neighborhoods of Beach Park, Davis Islands and Palma Ceia, and they all share several characteristics:

All have occurred on weekdays, during the times of day when residents are most likely to be away from home. One break-in was at 11:41 a.m. was interrupted by a victim who was at home.

Each burglary involved forced entry, virtually all of them to the rear of the homes. The burglars appear to be working as a team or more than one team, police say, as more than one burglary involved the removal of a hefty safe full of valuables.

The thieves are seeking expensive jewelry, though other items like cash and valuables have been taken from some of the residences.

10 of the 23 burglaries did not result in any loss of property. Police say it appears the burglars rummaged through bedrooms and areas where jewelry might be stored. In a couple of cases, the burglars fled after an alarm was triggered.

Detectives are urging South Tampa residents to take these steps to protect their property and help catch the jewelry thieves:

If you see something suspicious, report it to police at 813-231-6130. If you see a suspicious car, get a detailed description and tag number if possible.

If you have a security camera, make sure it is working.

If possible, store your jewelry in a safe-deposit box or a safe that is not easily removed. In more than one case, the thieves stole the safe. Evidence at the scene suggests they used a dolly to remove the safe.

Police say the series of burglaries is reminiscent of a smilar string of burglaries involving high-end jewelry during the spring and summer of 2016. Two men and a woman from South Florida were arrested in that case.