Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Break-ins on the rise in eastern Hillsborough

BRANDON — Crime is down in eastern Hillsborough County this year, but one category is up: unarmed residential burglaries.

There has been an increase in break-ins, many of them occurring during the day when residents are at work, said local district commanders Maj. Ronald Hartley and Maj. Clyde Eisenberg.

The break-ins are not confined to any one area, but some of the worst spots south of Lumsden Road include South Brandon and the U.S. 301 corridor, south of Big Bend Road, Hartley said.

Eisenberg, whose district covers eastern Hillsborough County north of Lumsden Road, said criminals have been targeting rural mid- to upper-class homes.

One of the common modes of operation is for the criminals to knock on a door, and if nobody answers, break in either through the front door or from the back of the house.

The criminals work in loosely organized groups and avoid residents, the majors said. They aren't out to rob or attack people.

"They just want the property," Eisenberg said. Big-screen televisions are a big draw, he said, because they can be easily resold.

Often, criminals will go from car to car in apartment complexes, trying the doors. They skip the locked vehicles and take valuables from the unlocked ones, Hartley said.

"They call it car hopping," Hartley said.

Because the criminals want to quickly get in and out of cars and homes, the best way to deter them is to make it difficult.

Some of the Sheriff's Office's tips seem common sense: For instance, lock your doors.

Others may take some research. There are devices that stop sliding doors from opening and timers that will turn on lights at a certain time each day, giving the appearance that someone is home.

Eisenberg suggests an alarm.

"A dog is probably the best … a dog that barks," he said.

As for the Sheriff's Office, Hartley said deputies are conducting surveillance on problem areas, sometimes undercover. They want to deter crime and catch the people in the act so they can charge them.

Hartley said he's hopeful because the odds are in the deputies' favor.

"The bad guys have to be lucky every time," Hartley said. "I only have to be lucky once."

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

fast facts

Secure your home

For crime prevention tips and a free home security assessment, call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Community Outreach Division at (813) 247-8115.

Break-ins on the rise in eastern Hillsborough 12/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2009 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. How to make a Strawberry Banana Smoothie

    Cooking

    Don't enjoy breakfast but need to get something in your stomach? Cranky around 3 p.m. and need a jolt of energy? Have trouble getting your daily recommended fruit servings? This smoothie is the cure for all of that and more. It's become my morning go-to. The secret ingredient here is kefir, a probiotic product that's …

    Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  2. How to tell if the price is right on your next prescription

    Medicine

    Filling a prescription is no longer the simple errand you run after a doctor visit.

    Photo illustration. [iStockphoto.com]
  3. Rubio to Seminole County GOP: 'America is going to be okay'

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a reshaped stump speech Tuesday night to the Seminole County GOP, touching on many of the same points he made as a presidential candidate but adapting it to the tumultuous politics of the moment.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami.
  4. Dad's app freezes your child's phone until your texts are answered

    Human Interest

    Parents of teens know how vital cell phones can be when they need to reach their kids — especially during an emergency.

    Nick Herbert, who lives in the United Kingdom, grew tired of his teenage son ignoring his texts, so he made an app to fix the problem. ReplyASAP takes over the phone's screen, overrides any silent functions and sets off an alarm, essentially forcing teens to respond to their parents in order to regain access to their phones. [Screengrab from website]
  5. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Miami-based Related Group has broken ground on a 400-unit apartment complex planned on the site of the former Tampa Tribune building in downtown Tampa.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]