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USF police arrest man on theft charges, seek link to other campus burglaries

Victor Manuel Guerrero-Martinez, 23, was arrested Sunday.
Victor Manuel Guerrero-Martinez, 23, was arrested Sunday.
Published May 24, 2016

TAMPA — A 23-year-old man arrested on theft charges at the University of South Florida on Sunday is suspected in several campus robberies, according to university police.

Victor Manuel Guerrero-Martinez was arrested on charges of grand theft, burglary of an occupied dwelling, dealing in stolen property and providing false information to a pawn broker, police said. He also had outstanding arrest warrants for those same charges.

Martinez is not a student, but the USF Police Department said he is a suspect in at least four burglaries at buildings on USF's campus over the past month, including Cooper Hall, the Natural and Environmental Sciences building, the Engineering "B" building and the Fine Arts building.

He frequently took laptops and other electronics, said USF Police Department spokeswoman Renna Reddick. On May 20, police posted photos of Martinez on USF's campus to its Facebook page, asking for information related to the burglaries.

USF officers, dressed in civilian clothing, were conducting a surveillance operation on Sunday when officers said they spotted Martinez walking between USF's Music Building and Fine Arts Studio with a large backpack. Uniformed officers arrested him without incident, police said. In his backpack, police said, they found several new cameras and that Martinez admitted to stealing them from the Fine Arts Building.

He was removed and barred from returning to the campus. USF police said its investigation is continuing. Martinez was being held Monday in the Hillsborough County jail in lieu of $29,000 bail.