Burglars hit more than 20 South Tampa homes, steal high-end jewelry

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Tampa police are investigating a series of residential burglaries that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of high-end jewelry being taken.

In September alone, there have been seven burglaries that are believed to be related.

Police say the break-ins took place in the neighborhoods of Beach Park, Davis Islands, and Palma Ceia and all share several characteristics.

  • All have occurred on weekdays, during the times of day when residents are most likely to be away from home, except for one break-in at 11:41 a.m., which was interrupted by a victim who was at home.
  • Each burglary involved forced entry, virtually all of them to the rear of the homes.
  • The burglars appear to be working as a team, or more than one team, as more than one burglary involved the removal of a hefty safe full of valuables.
  • The thieves are seeking expensive jewelry. Though other items – cash and other valuables – have been taken from some of the residences, in most cases, other valuables were ignored while jewelry was taken.

Beach Park has seen the highest concentration, according to data from TPD.

Detectives are urging South Tampa residents to take the following steps to protect their property and help catch the jewelry thieves:

  • If you see something suspicious, report it to police at 813-231-6130. If you see a suspicious car, get a detailed description and tag number if possible.
  • If you have a security camera, make sure it is working.
  • If possible, store your jewelry in a safe-deposit box or a safe that is not easily removed. In more than one case, the thieves stole the safe. Evidence at the scene suggests they used a dolly to remove the safe.

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