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.
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 or (813) 226-3400. Follow @sara_dinatale.


  1. Andre Clemens, 24, was arrested on two counts of attempted murder, discharging a firearm from a vehicle and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Tampa police. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
    Andre Clemens faces two counts of attempted murder. Tampa police have said little about the shooting near E Fowler Avenue.
  2. Richard Sajko of Valrico talks about how he killed one of the two bears on the back of his pickup truck in 2015 during the first Florida Black Bear hunt in 21 years at the Rock Springs Run Wildlife Management Area near Lake Mary. The hunt was so controversial that state officials have not held a second one. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
    But commissioners leave the door open for future hunts in next decade
  3. Frontier Communications this week launched tools to combat robocalls better. Pictured is a Frontier flag flies outside Frontier's regional office in Tampa in 2015. [Times file photo]
    The internet, phone and cable provider will help its customers better identify spam and fraudulent calls.
  4. Tampa Electric Co. customers will see a reduction in their rate for next year. Pictured is the utility's headquarters in Tampa in 2017. | [Chris Urso | Times (2017)] [URSO, CHRIS  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The reduction comes because of a drop in Florida’s corporate tax rate.
  5. James Dailey, 73, faces execution for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio. Left: Dailey at his 1987 trial, where he was convicted and sentenced to death. Middle: Dailey in 1993, when he was again sentenced to die. Right: The most current photo of Dailey on Florida's Death Row. [Times]
    In a series of written orders, U.S. District Judge William Jung rejected appeals from lawyers who argue James Dailey is innocent of a 1985 Pinellas County murder.
  6. FILE - This Nov. 1, 2018, file photo, shows the Google logo at their offices in Granary Square, London. [ALASTAIR GRANT  |  AP]
    Google search data reveals what topics people in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area were most curious about this year.
  7. An Air Force carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Navy Seaman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. A Saudi gunman killed three people including Haitham in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) [CLIFF OWEN  |  AP]
    Foreign citizens are allowed to buy guns if they first get a hunting license
  8. This photo provided by Time magazine shows Greta Thunberg, who has been named Time’s youngest “person of the year” on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.   The media franchise said Wednesday on its website that Thunberg is being honored for work that transcends backgrounds and borders.  (Time via AP) [AP]
    She rose to fame after cutting class in August 2018 to protest climate change.
  9. Javarick Henderson Jr., 13, seen on a video screen at his first appearance hearing on Wednesday. A grand jury indicted the boy as an adult on a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his grandmother, and his case is now being handled by the adult court system. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    Javarick Henderson Jr., 13, was indicted last week on a first-degree murder charge.
  10. The new Maydell Drive Bridge will be a multi-use bridge to cater to cars, bicyclists and pedestrians with travel lanes, 8-foot shoulders, and a barrier-separated 5' sidewalk & 10' trail. [Hillsborough County]
    Hillsborough County closed the bridge in December 2015 after an independent engineering study found it was structurally unsound.