(ran C, NS, S, F editions of B)
A cat burglar suspected in a string of Davis Islands break-ins was shot early Monday by a homeowner who awakened to find the 6-foot-5 man in his bedroom, according to Tampa police reports.
Jerry Delaparra, 41, was in serious but stable condition Monday afternoon at Tampa General Hospital. He was charged with burglary of a home in the 800 block of S Willow Avenue and with two outstanding warrants on burglary charges, police said.
Detectives described Delaparra as a career cat burglar who repeatedly committed the same type of crime: He broke in through unlocked windows or doors between 3 and 6 a.m. and stole cash while homeowners slept. They consider him a suspect in at least eight recent burglaries.
About 3:30 a.m. Monday, Delaparra crawled into the S Willow home through a side window, police said.
He awakened homeowner James W. Lazenby Jr., 59, who grabbed a .38-caliber revolver that was on his nightstand, and fired several shots. Delaparra, who was shot in the front once below the collarbone, ran several hundred feet before collapsing on the street, police said.
No charges have been filed against Lazenby. The case was referred to the state attorney's office for review.
Although Delaparra has a lengthy criminal record, he repeatedly has been released early from state prison, according to state records.
In April, Delaparra was released from state prison after serving 18 months of a 10-year sentence on a controlled substance charge. In 1988, he was sentenced to seven years in state prison on two burglary charges. He served 16 months of that sentence before he was paroled, according to prison records.
Delaparra broke into a Davis Islands home in July and fled after being confronted by a woman in the kitchen, said Tampa police Detective Dale Tuvell. He was charged in one of the warrants with that burglary. Several weeks later, detectives say they chased him about eight blocks after he was cornered in another Davis Islands burglary.
Delaparra lived in a S Dale Mabry Highway motel under the name Robert Green, police said. Detectives said they found stolen items in the room.