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Miami-Dade suspect has Palm Harbor ties

Officials are watching for a man with North Pinellas connections who is wanted in a series of rapes of women abducted from Miami-Dade County day care centers.

Michael Thomas Seibert, 41, has family in Palm Harbor and is believed to have been in the area last month, according to authorities.

He was last spotted in Miami on Feb. 28, after he left North Pinellas. He escaped from police on foot after they received a tip he was at a Burger King in Miami-Dade.

Seibert is being sought on an arrest warrant accusing him of abducting young mothers from day care center parking lots in south Miami-Dade County, driving them to remote areas and sexually assaulting them in front of the children.

"Young mothers, putting their children in their car and their back is turned when he approaches them from behind," said Detective Kurt Lueck of the Miami-Dade County Police Department. "He forces them into their vehicle."

Police are investigating Seibert for six rapes, said Lueck. He faces charges of armed sexual battery, armed kidnapping, armed carjacking, aggravated battery, aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and armed burglary for crimes that took place from 2000 to 2002.

Lueck, one of three lead investigators on the case, said the abductions occurred at Presbyterian church day-care centers and the parking lot of a doctor's office.

Seibert, no relation to former Pinellas County Commissioner Steven Seibert, has a brother who lives in Palm Harbor, said Sgt. Greg Tita, spokesman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Efforts this week to reach the family in North Pinellas were unsuccessful.

Lueck said Seibert lived in Palm Harbor for about a month and worked for a temporary agency. He took the Greyhound bus from Clearwater to Miami last month.

Police do not believe Seibert committed crimes in Pinellas County, said Tita.

"We're re

ally not actively looking for him on our end," said Tita. "We are involved only to the extent we are going to watch the (family's) house."

Seibert was arrested for domestic violence on Jan. 23 in the Miami suburb of Homestead. The case was not prosecuted and he was released. He was not identified as the subject of this investigation until Feb. 27.

Seibert is white, has brown hair, blue eyes, weighs between 190 and 200 pounds and is about 6 feet tall. He has a tattoo of an eagle on his right shoulder, a panther on his left forearm and the word "Doe" across his chest. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Although Seibert is not suspected of committing any crimes here, Lueck says it's a good idea for mothers to put their children in the vehicle, shut and lock the doors and then secure the children in the back seat.

"They should always be aware of their surroundings," he said.

_ Megan Scott can be reached at (727) 445-4183 or mscottsptimes.com.

To help

If you have information about Michael Thomas Seibert, contact Crime Stoppers in the Miami area at (305) 471-TIPS or the Miami-Dade Police Department Sexual Crimes Bureau (305) 477-1112 or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Miami Regional Operations Center toll free at 1-800-226-3023.

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