Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police arrest man suspected of burglarizing tented homes

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have arrested one man and are searching for another suspect accused of burglarizing several homes that were tented for fumigation in the last five months.

Christopher Alexander, 25, was charged this week with six counts of residential burglary, St. Petersburg police said. Three of the cases are connected to burglaries at tented houses.

In the past five months, 12 homes in St. Petersburg were burglarized while they were enclosed in tents for fumigation by pest control companies, police said.

Alexander allegedly confessed to participating in at least one of the burglaries, but not all 12. Fumigated homes are tented to contain poisonous gases inside.

With no residents home, Alexander said, he would don a painter's mask and break into the houses. But the mask would not have prevented him from inhaling toxic fumes, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz.

In fact, he said, Alexander admitted to becoming physically ill from entering a tented house.

Puetz said burglaries of tented homes crop up in spates.

"It seems to occur in clumps and usually because one or two individuals have decided to risk their health and break into places like this," he said.

A tent is an obvious sign that a house is empty. Still, most thieves will search for easier targets – unoccupied homes not filled with poisonous gases.

"Most burglars are going to be very reluctant to do what these guys have done just out of fear for their own health," Puetz said.

Alexander is suspected of snatching numerous items from some homes, indicating he may have spent several minutes inside.

On June 14, he allegedly entered the house at 200 52nd St. S when it was being fumigated, according to an arrest report. Inside, he grabbed a handgun, two televisions, two bicycles, a Blu-ray player, an Xbox, and some jewelry, according to the arrest report. The total haul was valued at about $4,590.

Some of the items were later found at Alexander's home, authorities said.

He was caught after officers responded Monday to a call about a burglary in progress at 4235 32nd Ave. N. They saw a man, later identified as Alexander, trying to enter the home through a back door. He ran away, but a canine unit officer tracked him to a nearby garage.

Alexander was hiding in the rafters, police said.

His wife, Candice Marie Alexander, allegedly tried to sell some property from one of the burglaries in late June at an antique store. She was charged with dealing in stolen property and violation of probation for grand theft, police said.

Christopher Alexander then became a suspect.

Investigators are looking for another man, Michael Murphy, 36, who they believe helped Alexander in several of the burglaries. Murphy is 5 feet 10 and weighs about 145 pounds, according to police. He has red hair, brown eyes and tattoos of a tiger on the inside of his left forearm and a dragon on his right forearm.

St. Petersburg police are ask anyone who may know where Murphy is to call (727) 893-7780 or to text (727) 420-8911. To leave a confidential tip, call (727) 892-5000.

Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at zsampson@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8804. Twitter: @zacksampson.

Police arrest man suspected of burglarizing tented homes 07/10/13 [Last modified: Sunday, March 30, 2014 4:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

    National

    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”