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. A sign seen on the front door of Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria in March, after owner Tom Woodard stopped serving drinks with plastic straws. The St. Petersburg City Council voted 5-2 on Thursday night to ban single-use plastic straws. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    The City Council tweaked its own ordinance banning single-use plastic straws, which is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
  2. Student activists with the March For Our Lives group, founded after the Feb. 2018 Parkland shooting, hold a banner that promotes their new "peace plan" to prevent gun violence, while demonstrating in the rotunda of the state capitol building in Tallahassee. Emily L. Mahoney | Times
    The 18-year-old student director of March for Our Lives Florida said school shootings are so common they are “not shocking” anymore.
  3. Steven Currall prepares to deliver an address during his investiture as the University of South Florida's seventh president Thursday at the Yuengling Center in Tampa. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    Though he started the job in July, Steve Currall is officially installed as president on his 137th day in office.
  4. Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share for Tech Data's stock in an acquisition worth $5.4 billion. If regulators shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County, where it employs 2,000 of its 14,000 workers. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private equity firms like Apollo create wealth for pension funds, financial institutions and individual investors by buying assets that typically are sold later at a profit.
  5. Some of Tampa Bay's largest companies are being sold or are up for sale. Times files and Bloomin' Brands
    Tech Data is just the latest in a growing list of public companies bought up by out-of-state firms.
  6. Gov. Ron DeSantis greets local officials at Dunedin High School on Oct. 7, 2019, part of a swing around the state to announce his plan to boost starting teacher pay in Florida to $47,500. He revealed a related teacher bonus plan on Nov. 14 in Vero Beach. MEGAN REEVES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The new plan would replace the controversial Best and Brightest model that DeSantis had called confusing.
  7. The "#9pmroutine" is a core social media feature for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Now, the agency has a copyright on it. Facebook
    Copyrighting a key part of the agency’s social media presence isn’t meant to limit its reach, the office said, but rather to stop bad actors.
  8. USF student Gabriela Young is the owner of Earth and Ivory, an online jewelry business with items made out of clay.  [Special to the Times | Sarah Foster] SARAH FOSTER  |  Special to the Times | @sarahtheartiste
    Gabriela Young went from selling bracelets to friends to making clay wares for customers with her business, Earth and Ivory.
  9. Chief Veterinarian Mallory Offner examines a female rescue puppy at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center in Tampa. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    With 250 of the pooches ready for adoption, each potential puppy parent has a 1-in-4 shot at getting picked in today’s drawing.
  10. Eight vehicles were involved in a fiery and fatal crash late Wednesday that left two people dead and shut down northbound Interstate 75 bridging Hillsborough and Pasco counties, authorities said. The driver of the white van pictured above, George Pagan of Tampa, said he saw the semi-trailer truck, left, sliding sideways toward him in his rearview mirror before impact. Pasco Fire Rescue
    The chain-reaction crash that closed the northbound lanes near the Pasco-Hillsborough line started when a semi-trailer truck driver didn’t stop for traffic, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement