NEW PORT RICHEY — A 20-year-old prescription pill addict is suspected of breaking into at least 20 homes and one business in the past few months, authorities said.
Cory R. Corrado of 6440 Main St. was arrested Wednesday and is charged with dealing in stolen property and seven charges of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling — but that count is rising, said Lt. Steven Kostas of the New Port Richey Police Department.
He said Corrado's method was to cruise around New Port Richey on his gas-powered scooter looking for houses with no one home.
"He said they were at random," Kostas said.
Most of the burglaries were in the daytime, though Kostas said Corrado did smash the front glass of Smith's Cafe on U.S. 19 during a recent night and stole cash and change.
Kostas said Corrado would search for easy ways inside homes — popping sliding glass doors, cutting screen windows and removing jalousie glass panes.
If he couldn't get inside within one or two tries, he moved on to another home, Kostas said.
He didn't ransack homes and stole things he could easily carry — jewelry, laptop computers, cameras, Kostas said. One laptop was stolen from the home of a Times reporter.
An anonymous tip lead investigators to Corrado, who had a stolen laptop and camera in his apartment, Kostas said. Detectives found jewelry Corrado pawned from a Wednesday afternoon heist at a home on Montana Avenue, a report states.
Corrado confessed and said he "does not have a job and needed the money to support a prescription drug habit," the report says.
Corrado is being held at the Pasco County jail. He was also arrested in April on two charges of possession of a controlled substance — diazepam and oxycodone — and possession of drug paraphernalia. That case is still going through the court system.