TAMPA — A Tampa man was charged with burglarizing a church and a car after police stopped him on his bicycle and found what they said was stolen property in his bag.
The man, John Edward Harris, who police said lives at 302 Whitehall Court No. B or 1309 E Sitka St., was stopped at 307 E Clinton St. An officer was patrolling the area just before 3 a.m. Wednesday after reports that the Tampa Korean Methodist Church, 4212 N Boulevard, had been burglarized about half an hour earlier.
Officer Usilia Emilione saw Harris riding his bike north on Central Avenue without proper lights and stopped him near Sligh Avenue. Harris was carrying a full black duffel bag, which she searched. She found several laptop computers and accessories.
When Emilione and a backup officer, G. Colucci, began questioning him, Harris tried to run away. The officers tried to use a stun gun but missed. They said Harris hid on E Clinton Street in a parked car owned by Cory Lee Jones, of 2819 Richardson Road in Bartow. Police found him, stunned him and arrested him.
Harris was charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure, criminal mischief, grand theft and opposing an officer without violence. He was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail, where he remains in lieu of $7,500 bail.
All the property was returned.