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Pasco deputies investigating string of smash-and-grab burglaries

HUDSON — Most of the burglaries were quick — under two minutes — and in the middle of the night. The suspect or suspects smashed their way into mostly mom-and-pop shops in northwest Pasco, often causing more financial damage with their entry than in merchandise stolen.

The burglaries started on Jan. 1, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Between then and Monday, the Sheriff's Office has received reports of breaking and entering burglaries at 13 stores scattered along State Road 52, Hicks Road, U.S. 19 and other streets.

Sheriff Chris Nocco said detectives believe one or two suspects are behind the burglaries, all of which happened between midnight and 6 a.m. The list of businesses includes a thrift store, pizzeria, hair salon and pet boutique.

Detective Anthony Scarpati said there are recurring similarities between the burglaries but would not specify what those were. He said the suspects mostly took items that had not been locked up, some merchandise and coins, but most of the cost would be in the $300 to $500 window repairs.

"What they're getting is very minute compared to the cost of these windows," Scarpati said. "That's a lot of money out of people's pockets right now."

He and Nocco said they hope people will watch surveillance video of one of the robberies and call in tips to the Sheriff's Office at 1-800-706-2488.

Alex Orlando can be reached at aorlando@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6247.

Pasco deputies investigating string of smash-and-grab burglaries 03/07/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:38pm]
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