BRANDON — Authorities are seeking the public's help in identifying a man whom they believe has stolen four video game systems, worth thousands of dollars, in three trips to the same store.
The thefts, which all occurred at the Kmart at 1602 W Brandon Blvd., began on Nov. 9, deputies said.
On that day, just after 5 p.m., the suspected thief entered the store and asked for an Xbox 360 from the clerk. While the clerk was distracted, the man took the Xbox from the register and walked out of the Kmart through the home and garden section of the store, officials said.
Just three days later, the same man returned about 12:45 p.m. and asked for a PlayStation 3. After the clerk placed the PlayStation at the register the man asked for a game, diverting the clerk's attention, deputies said. Once the clerk was distracted, the man again picked up the game system and walked out of the store through the home and garden section, officials said.
The most recent theft happened about 10 a.m. Nov. 27, when the same man walked into the same store and pulled the same scheme, deputies said.
This time, the man asked for two systems: a Nintendo Wii and an Xbox 360 Kinect. The clerk put the items at the register, the man asked for a game and then grabbed the systems as the clerk was looking for the game, officials said.
This time, the clerk noticed the man as he was on his way out and demanded that he stop, but the suspect continued out of the store through the garden section, investigators said
The suspect is described as being between 22 and 29 years old, about 6 feet 2 inches tall and about 225 pounds, with a large build, a dark complexion and dark hair.
Anyone with information about these crimes has been asked to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477.
Marissa Lang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3386 or on Twitter @Marissa_Jae.