Advertisement
  1. News

Lightning fan caught on camera stealing another fan's custom chair (w/video)

A surveillance photo shows the suspect in the chair theft.
Published May 18, 2016

LITHIA — It was 4:13 a.m. Saturday and one Tampa Bay Lightning fan may have still been high off the Bolts' playoff win the night before.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were toast and this particular Tampa Bay fan may have felt the need to celebrate. Maybe he had a few too many drinks, maybe he was feeling spontaneous.

Maybe he's also one of the least stealthy thieves in the bay area.

Sporting a Steven Stamkos Lightning jersey (no, really), a man pulled up in front of a house in FishHawk Ranch in what looked like a light-colored pickup truck.

He walked up to the lighted front door. The bearded man (playoff beard?) then realized — belatedly, in full view of the camera — that he should pull the jersey over his face.

Then he helped himself to a custom Adirondack chair decorated with the Lightning logo and disappeared into the night.

But his mug was captured on Shane Newberg's home surveillance system.

"I'm shocked someone was brazen enough to do this," Newberg said.

Now, Newberg is hoping his security video will lead to an arrest.

The 44-year-old Lighting fan was stunned by the fan-on-fan abuse — from someone in a pricey jersey, no less.

"The jerseys are not cheap," Newberg said. "If someone can afford a jersey, why would they be running around stealing chairs?"

Newberg said he spotted some Adirondack-style chairs with the signature lightning bolt at an official team watch party. After scouring the Internet to no avail, he decided to make his own set. He ordered two chairs — one blue, one white — online for around $220. He and his two kids, ages 9 and 11, worked to get the stencils perfect and spray-painted the logos themselves. They were a Mother's Day gift last year for his wife, Lori Newberg.

The blue one was stolen.

Newberg thought about bolting them down, but didn't want to drill holes in the chair or the porch. He figured the five video cameras would be enough of a deterrent.

It wasn't. The Lightning beat the Penguins 3-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final Friday. Then, early Saturday morning, while the family slept, the chair bandit struck.

He wasn't alone. An accomplice also stole the family's Lightning flag, which they plant outside at the start of every season. But the footage of that theft isn't as clear the video of the chair theft, Newberg said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating and has Newberg's security footage. Fellow fans, though, have mounted a social media campaign to return the stolen blue chair to its rightful place.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3400. Follow @sara_dinatale.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. This Wednesday, June 21, 2017, file photo shows the building that houses the headquarters of Uber, in San Francisco. Uber acknowledged more than 3,000 sexual assaults occurred during U.S. Uber rides in 2018, the company said in a long-awaited safety report. ERIC RISBERG  |  AP
    That figure includes 229 rapes across the company’s 1.3 billion rides.
  2. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Both robbers were shot and killed, and the fourth victim was in a nearby vehicle when shots rang out at a crowded intersection in Miramar.
  3. Transgender student Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Adam's fight over school restrooms came before a federal appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., won a lower court ruling last year ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. The district has since appealed. RON HARRIS  |  AP
    The closely watched case of Drew Adams, once a high school student in Florida, is heard by a three-judge panel in Atlanta.
  4. Previous competitions did not round up a lot of the invasive snakes
  5. Jamie Harden of Creative Sign Designs and Maryann Ferenc of Mise en Place discuss priorities for the Tampa Bay Chamber for the coming year. Harden is the outgoing chairman of the chamber. Ferenc is the incoming chairwoman. RICHARD DANIELSON | Times
    Leadership of the organization, formerly the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, also says it could have handled its recent name change better.
  6. Michele Arceneaux, former president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, speaks during a press conference against three proposed toll roads in the Florida Capitol on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. LAWRENCE MOWER  |  Lawrence Mower
    The announcement came as the Florida Chamber of Commerce touted the proposed roads.
  7. The snow park in Pasco County will be known Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park and is scheduled to open in November 2020. Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park
    The park in rural east Pasco anticipates opening in November 2020.
  8. Workers repair a broken pressurized sewer line along 62nd Avenue N. JAY CONNER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private sewer pipes have always been the responsibility of property owners. Now if city officials notice a problem, they can force a homeowner to make repairs.
  9. Richard Taormino is accused of beating and raping a woman in an abandoned mobile home park, according to St. Petersburg police. [Pinellas County jail] Pinellas County jail
    Richard Taormino, 44, faces three counts of sexual battery with a deadly weapon and one count of kidnapping.
  10. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Her truck hit two trees and caught fire, troopers said. She was airlifted to a hospital but died of her injuries.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement