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FINGERPRINTS LEAD TO CHARGES

A Sulphur Springs man is accused of burglarizing a home that is being renovated.

His MySpace headline read "Livin Large," and his mood was listed as "ecstatic" on Monday.

But Thursday night, Joshua Preston White, 21, was in the Orient Road Jail, charged with armed burglary of a dwelling, grand theft of $100,000 or more and two counts of grand theft firearm.

When asked on a call from the jail Thursday why he was charged with such serious crimes, White said "I have no idea."

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office:

On July 26, someone broke into a Forest Hills Estates home undergoing renovations, opened a 5-foot safe and took jewelry, watches, cash, two guns and antique ink pins worth a total of $504,000.

Detectives heard back from a fingerprint analyst Wednesday, who said that two prints found on a Coke bottle in the house's office belonged to White.

White of 704 W Sitka St. in Sulphur Springs was subsequently arrested, said J.D. Callaway, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

White has refused to cooperate with detectives about providing information about potential accomplices, he said.

"We do know he doesn't work for the construction company doing the renovations, but he has declined to talk with us," Callaway said.

That has made it difficult for deputies to find out what happened to the contents of the safe.

Callaway said none of the merchandise was found with White, and deputies had not yet discerned if he made any high-dollar purchases since July.

State records show that White had been arrested three times as a juvenile in the county, twice for larceny and once for aggravated assault.

But he got his first arrest as adult in March 21, 2008, when Tampa police said they caught him with Xanax, oxycodone, hydrocodone and marijuana. He was sent into pretrial diversion program and did not enter a plea in that case.

The arrest report in the latest case says the burglar or burglars pried open a wood panel that led into the garage to get into the house.

Callaway said the home's owner was out of town at the time.

"We don't have a lot of information at this time," he said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to the report. Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at (813) 226-3373 or rmitchell@sptimes.com.

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