Two Thonotosassa veterans burglarized, investigate their own crime

THONOTOSASSA, Fla. — Two Thonotosassa veterans say they were targeted, then burglarized.

In a snapshot the neighbors tracked down from the Thonotosassa Park, two men can be seen carrying bolt cutters.

The veterans believe these are the same bolt cutters used to cut through their fences and steal thousands of dollars worth of tools.

“We realized our fences had been cut when some of our livestock was outside of the pasture,” John Benson said.

Benson and his fiancée were inside all day on April 16, because of the rain.

That’s when the thieves took the opportunity to strike, when Benson says they knew no one would be outdoors.

After they discovered their fence was cut, Benson went out to his workshop to discover his welder was missing.

“Looked in our workshop and discovered the tools were missing,” he said.

That’s when Benson decided to check with his neighbor and found out he was missing tools as well.

“My neighbor came over and said 'hey did you experience any theft' and surprisingly I had,” David Cray said.

Cray and Benson both called the Hillsborough Sheriff’s office to report the thefts, then they discovered yet another clue into what they now see as a crime spree.

“You looked a little further and found out the fence to the park behind us had been cut as well,” Benson said. He discovered the county fence behind his property had also been sliced.

The fence, which was also cut around the same time, lines both the veterans' properties as well as the Thonotosassa park.

The two checked in with park employees and discovered two men on surveillance video had vandalized the park the same day, then were seen walking towards their properties with bolt cutters.

“We have snapshots of the people from the video, in their car, we’ve been driving around looking for the car,” Benson said.

Now Benson and Cray said they're leaving the sleuthing up to the Hillsborough County Sheriff, who they hope they will be able to catch the criminals soon.

“You’re lucky I didn’t catch you,” Cray said.

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