Thursday, July 19, 2018
Public safety

Thieves loot Hillsborough businesses and homes during Irma, deputies say

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating more than a dozen suspected looting cases committed as Hurricane Irma lashed the area.

From dirt bikes to cigars to Corona beer, thieves took advantage of the nasty weather to make a run on businesses and homes, according to a list of 15 incidents released by the Sheriff's Office.

Here are highlights:

• Value Choice Pharmacy, 13130 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. A looter used a brick to shatter the front door and collected non-narcotic prescription medications in a garbage bag. About an hour later, the suspect in the looting returned and filled the garbage bag again. Deputies say about $30,000 worth of medication was stolen. Some of it was recovered near the 8800 block of Memorial Highway.

• Tampa Bay Powersports, 13521 Florida Ave. N, Tampa. Several looters crashed a vehicle into the building and stole seven dirt bikes valued at around $38,000.

• Teresa's Food Mart, 11733 N 15th St., Tampa. Looters backed a stolen vehicle into the building to get inside and stole unspecified items.

• Circle K, 6422 Benjamin Road. The looters entered the store by breaking out the front door with a hammer and stole cigarettes, cigars and a couple of cases of Corona beer.

• Mobil Gas Station, 10920 U.S. 41 S, Gibsonton. Looters smashed the glass on the back door and removed various items valued at approximately $1,000.

• Dunkin' Donuts, 1909 E Bearss Ave., Tampa. A looter who might have gained access to the store through the drive-through window stole an unspecified amount of cash.

• Family Dollar, 2275 E Bearss Ave., Tampa. A looter entered by smashing the front door and stole 50 cartons of cigarettes, causing about $3,000 damage to the business.

• J & J Tires, 19033 U.S. 41 N, Tampa. Looters entered the business and removed a laptop, tools, tire and other miscellaneous items valued at more than $5,000.

• Best Buy Liquors, 1504 Storington Ave., Brandon. Looters entered the business by shattering the glass door with a brick. Once inside the looters took mini liquor bottles, lottery tickets and cigarettes. The items had a total value of between $3,000 and $5,000.

The list of cases also included six residential burglaries:

• 8102 Sheldon Road, Tampa. A looter, or looters, threw a rock through a sliding glass door and stole about $2,900 worth of items.

• 6217 Clark Ave. N, Tampa. A looter or looters entered the residence through a bedroom window and stole more than $2,000 worth of items.

• 2414 W Lake Drive, Wimauma. A looter or looters broke in through the front door and stole a television.

• 5765 Newmauma Park Drive, Wimauma. Looters broke in through the front door and stole a television.

• 5767 Newmauma Park Drive, Wimauma. Looters broke in through a rear sliding glass door and stole clothing.

• 15533 Long Cypress Drive, Ruskin. Looters broke into the home through a bedroom window and stole jewelry and other various items.

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