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St. Pete copper theft suspect arrested after burglaries, chase

ST. PETERSBURG — Steven Branesky, the man police accused of causing more than $300,000 in damage to steal just $5,000 worth of copper, is in trouble again.

This time the 23-year-old man is accused of burglarizing three mobile homes Thursday morning while out on bail on numerous grand theft and criminal mischief charges.

Here's what deputies say happened Thursday:

Branesky broke into three homes at Club Chalet Mobile Home Park about 3 a.m. before a neighbor reported seeing him in an unoccupied home. When the deputies arrived, Branesky looked out a window and tried to hide inside one of the mobile homes at 7880 54th Ave. N.

Deputies repeatedly ordered Branesky to come outside, authorities said, and when he didn't, they sent a dog in.

Branesky — who has a long record of theft, drug possession and other arrests and charges — was charged with three counts of burglary and one count of possessing burglary tools.

He was arrested 18 days after he was released from the Pinellas County Jail after posting $20,300 bail. St. Petersburg police accused Branesky of stripping air-conditioning units of their copper parts, destroying the machines in the process.

During an eight-day period last month, police say Branesky destroyed units at the vacant Circuit City store in the Tyrone area, a nearby Ross Dress for Less and a Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q, and even Park Street Baptist Church.

Branesky of 988 49th Ave. N is back in the Pinellas County jail, this time being held in lieu of $40,000 bail.

St. Pete copper theft suspect arrested after burglaries, chase 12/31/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2009 9:42pm]

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