Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Public safety

Man seeks justice after burglars clean out his St. Petersburg home

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Ryan Cyr knew something was wrong as soon as he walked in the door.

The TV was gone, the window was open.

He picked up the pace, moved to the kitchen, saw the back door ajar. When he turned the corner to check on his bedroom, his heart dropped.

"Nothing. There was nothing left," said Cyr, 32. "I started shaking. I was scared and angry. Then there was this feeling — an emptiness."

While Cyr worked Monday, burglars broke into his house, 521 Delmar Ter. S, and made off with his flat-screen TV, video game console, CD collection, computer, knives and his parents' wedding bands.

All that remained were his mattress, clothes and a bookshelf, he said.

The next day, his despair turned into something darker.

He went to the garage, found a piece of plywood and spray-painted a message: "$1,000 reward for info who the S.O.B. is who robbed my house."

He hadn't gotten any responses by Friday. But he's serious about the reward.

"I will give a thousand dollars to anyone who can prove who stole my stuff," said Cyr, who works as a restaurant manager. "People know something, and money talks."

But it's possible no one saw much of anything, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz.

Most burglaries happen in a matter of minutes.

"Burglars realize they have a limited amount of time before someone notices," Puetz said. "They want to get in and get out quickly."

The burglars who broke into Cyr's house followed a pattern police are familiar with: They broke in through a side window, opened the back door and grabbed what looked valuable.

But they also took a moment to ensure a comfortable work environment, flipping on the air conditioner as they collected Cyr's belongings.

Experienced criminals will usually bring a vehicle to transport the stolen goods, Puetz said.

Although no place is immune from crime, Puetz said, the key to deterrence is making things as difficult as possible for the burglar. That means putting locks on windows, keeping valuables out of sight, and installing an alarm system that could draw more attention to the house.

Keeping track of serial numbers on electronics and securing small items in hard-to-find places also helps, he said.

"You want to force them to go through as many extraordinary measures as you can," Puetz said. "First, make it hard to get in. Then, make it hard to find things. An alarm system is helpful, but it's not a guarantee."

Since the burglary, Cyr has boarded up his windows and secured the doors. But, he said, it's too little, too late.

"Being in that house now, knowing that someone's been in your home, gone through your stuff," Cyr said, "it doesn't feel like home anymore."

The spray-painted plea on his front lawn is one way to fight back, he said.

"I was mad when I did that, and I'm still mad," he said. "But maybe, after all of this, I can get some justice."

Times researcher Natalie A. Watson contributed to this report. Marissa Lang can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

Comments

28-year-old man shot dead in Spring Hill home, deputies say

SPRING HILL — A 28-year-old man was shot and killed inside a Spring Hill home Monday night, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies responded to at least two separate 911 calls about 8:15 p.m., in which callers reported shots being...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

TAMPA — You can collect $110,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest in the Seminole Heights killings, but for now you’ll have to make two stops.The David A. Straz Foundation announced Monday it would contribute $10,000 to a reward f...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Crash involving bicyclist closes EB lanes on W Kennedy Boulevard in downtown Tampa

TAMPA — Eastbound lanes on W Kennedy Boulevard were reopened by 6:30 a.m. at S Parker Street in downtown Tampa after a bicyclist was struck early Tuesday morning.The crash occurred in front of the University of Tampa, according to broadcast reports.W...
Updated: 9 hours ago
In wake of killings, Seminole Heights hosts supper to thank first responders

In wake of killings, Seminole Heights hosts supper to thank first responders

TAMPAKenny Hoffa surprised everyone when he made the seven-hour drive from Charleston, S.C., to Tampa’s Seminole Heights to attend a dinner set up to thank police for working hard to solve a string of recent killings.For Hoffa, it was an easy decisio...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Another teen fights for his life following reported stolen car crash

Another teen fights for his life following reported stolen car crash

ST. PETERSBURG — Another teenager is fighting for his life after a crash involving a car that was later reported stolen, according to police.The 15-year-old was a passenger in a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro that hit a tree in the 4000 block of 11th Avenue S...
Updated: 7 hours ago
NTSB report details steep turns and dives preceding Roy Halladay’s fatal crash

NTSB report details steep turns and dives preceding Roy Halladay’s fatal crash

Before he crashed, Roy Halladay flew within 75 feet of houses and skimmed the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a report published Monday by the National Transportation Safety Board.The report, which did not address the cause of the crash, ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Blasts at plant kill 1, injure dozens

Blasts at plant kill 1, injure dozens

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. — Authorities recovered the body of a male worker reported missing after two explosions and a fire at a New York cosmetics factory left 30 to 35 people injured, including seven firefighters caught in the second blast, officials said...
Published: 11/20/17
Tampa Electric, contractor fined $43,000 in gas leak

Tampa Electric, contractor fined $43,000 in gas leak

APOLLO BEACH — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Tampa Electric $18,108 and gave the company two "serious" citations for its response to a gas leak at the Big Bend Power Station in May, the agency announced late Friday.T...
Published: 11/20/17
David Straz adds $10,000 to reward for arrest in Seminole Heights killings

David Straz adds $10,000 to reward for arrest in Seminole Heights killings

TAMPA — The David A. Straz Foundation is contributing $10,000 to the reward for information leading to an arrest in the Seminole Heights killings.The contribution brings the total to $110,000.Straz is a philanthropist and retired banker who is explor...
Published: 11/20/17
Park, Walk and Talk is St. Petersburg police chief’s signature program. Is it working?

Park, Walk and Talk is St. Petersburg police chief’s signature program. Is it working?

ST. PETERSBURG — Police Chief Tony Holloway has made getting officers out of their cars, walking streets and talking to residents a key plank in his effort to improve relations between his department and the community.But three years into his adminis...
Published: 11/20/17