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Alert deputy identifies South Pasadena burglary suspect

SOUTH PASADENA — A crack-addicted, serial cat burglar bold enough to stop and make himself a snack while he robbed a house has been caught, authorities said.

Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said they believe 32-year-old Joseph Austin Wilson is responsible for at least six burglaries on Robin Road S and Sea Gull Drive S between Jan. 25 and Friday.

The Sheriff's Office had investigated six reports of residential, vehicle, and vessel burglaries during the three-day span, according to a news release. In four of the burglaries, residents were asleep as Wilson stole items such as televisions, cash, blank checks, wallets and credit cards, the Sheriff's Office said.

Two homeowners were able to catch images of Wilson on home security cameras. On Friday, about 11 p.m., a deputy who had reviewed the footage saw Wilson walking in the neighborhood and noticed he looked like the man on the videos.

Wilson, of 6740 Gulfport Blvd., admitted he committed the break-ins, all of which happened between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the Sheriff's Office.

During one burglary, Wilson said, he made himself a meatball sandwich and drank three beers while the residents were asleep in bed, the Sheriff's Office said.

Wilson said he traded the stolen goods to drug dealers for crack cocaine. None of the items were recovered.

Wilson was charged with four counts of burglary of an occupied structure, three counts of uttering a check with forged instrument and one count each of grand theft and loitering and prowling.

On Tuesday afternoon, Wilson was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $50,150 bail.

Alert deputy identifies South Pasadena burglary suspect 02/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 5:21pm]
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