Friday, December 15, 2017
Public safety

Deputies arrest three in string of Hillsborough storage unit burglaries

TAMPA — A tip from the public led to the arrests this week of three people whom deputies say are responsible for a string of hundreds of storage unit burglaries in the recent months, authorities said.

Hillsborough County sheriff's officials released video surveillance images earlier this week of one of two men who were believed to be responsible for the break-ins at seven storage businesses between May and September. But it was last week, before the video was released, that a tipster gave deputies a name.

On Wednesday, deputies arrested Charlie Rodriguez Jr., 25, whom officials said was the man seen on a surveillance video rummaging through items inside a storage unit during a June 15 burglary at Uncle Bob's Storage at 8354 W Hillsborough Ave.

On Thursday, they arrested Jonathan Maldonado, 22, and Nancy Upper, 23, who were also involved in the burglaries and the subsequent sale of the stolen items, officials said.

Rodriguez and Maldonado are each accused of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and other charges stemming from the burglaries, authorities said. The pair would typically break-into the units with a screwdriver, then go through the contents, making off with items of value that were later sold at pawn shops.

Altogether, the pair is responsible for break-ins of at least 350 units, authorities said.

Upper faces charges of dealing in stolen property, petit theft, and providing false information on a pawnbroker form for her part in the thefts, authorities said. Deputies were still investigating to determine if anyone else was involved.

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