Detectives looking through hours of video to catch Tampa looters

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – The video is stunning as dozens of people break into a closed Walmart store on May 30 running through a breached door as most head directly to the electronics section. Some are even seen fighting over big screen T.V.s.

“You just keep seeing these waves of people come into the store. It’s not like two dozen people were outside and got their way in. We’re talking about a large group. Hundreds of people, dozens of people that forced their way in and then took advantage of the situation and got this merchandise out of the store,” said Amanda Granit with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Now detectives are looking over this video and many others to catch the thieves.

The Tampa Police Department released another video that shows thieves storming into a CVS store as the manager calls 911 for help. A female employee can be heard crying in the background as the manager asks for help.

“When I can listen to the 911 call and hear the woman crying and hear the fear in the manager’s voice, I can put myself there,” said Detective Scott Savitt with the Tampa Police Department.
Savitt is part of a team of detectives looking at the security camera videos.

“We can break the videos down frame by frame. We have a lot of technology, it’s 2020. We have facial recognition, that’s something that we’ve used quite often. Sometimes it’s local offenders where I know exactly who that is. That’s happened quite a bit,” said Savitt.

Detectives are also getting calls from the community to help.

“The help from the community is our biggest asset. We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls. Even the people that were out there protesting peacefully feel like their message has been stolen by the people that were out there looting,” said Savitt.

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