SEMINOLE HEIGHTS/SULPHUR SPRINGS — The Tampa Police Department has identified a crime pattern involving residential burglaries in parts of Seminole Heights and Sulphur Springs. Capt. John Newman said a reverse 911 was sent out Sept. 1 to inform residents that several homes, garages and sheds in the area had been broken into.
Newman said there have been numerous "kick-ins" and a string of robberies over the past two months that have included residents getting late night door-to-door requests for odd jobs.
He said the inquiries are meant to scope out the residents' possessions and households for future break-ins. Many of the burglaries have included high-priced plasma televisions.
"Pay attention to what you're putting out on your lawn," he said. "What you put at the curb can tip people off."
The areas cited include parts of Sulphur Springs and Seminole Heights, from Busch Boulevard south to Waters Avenue between Nebraska and Florida avenues. Also of concern are some homes in the general area of Florida east to 15th Street and the Hillsborough River south to Hanna Avenue.
Thefts of possessions such as bicycles and lawn mowers have increased as well, Newman said. The items often are sitting unattended on a porch, in a shed or a garage.
Burglaries are the No. 1 crime issue the Police Department deals with, he added. Any suspicious behavior, such as unknown people knocking on neighbors' doors or roaming on their property, should be directed to the department's nonemergency number at 231-6130.
For information, contact the Tampa Police Department District 2 crime prevention officer at 931-6541.
Eric Smithers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3339.