VIDEO: Man forces himself through Wendy’s drive-thru window in Tampa, search underway

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Deputies in Hillsborough County are searching for a man accused of burglarizing a fast-food restaurant by forcing himself through the drive-thru window.

The incident was captured on surveillance video that was released this week by the sheriff’s office. It happened Sunday, Aug. 2 at the Wendy’s on North 56th Street in Tampa.

According to deputies, 26-year-old Kelvin Barnes pulled up to the drive-thru window at the restaurant around 11 p.m. with unknown passengers. Employees told deputies at some point while placing an order, the group started acting belligerent.

Deputies say Barnes approached the front of the restaurant but was met by an employee who later told law enforcement that Barnes had threatened to start a physical fight. According to the sheriff’s office, Barnes then walked back to the drive-thru window and force his upper body through.

(Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office photo)

Surveillance video from inside the restaurant shows Barnes grabbing cups and straws off the counter and throwing them onto the floor. Deputies say he then grabbed the cash drawer but dropped it when employees approached him.

“They go over the top over something simple,” said Reinaldo Vega, who lives nearby. “There’s no reason go to over the top for something simple. If you have love in your heart, that’s all you need.”

The sheriff’s office says Barnes was able to drive away in a gray 2020 Nissan Maxima with the Tennessee license plate 2V72W7.

“We have clear surveillance video of this suspect and are asking everyone to take a good look and call us if they know where Kelvin Barnes is hiding,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “He didn’t get away with any money, but the damage and hostility this restaurant and its employees faced is unacceptable and we will make sure Barnes learns his lesson.”

According to the sheriff’s office, Barnes was driving a rental car. The rental company says it is now in the process of filing a failure-to-return report with the Tampa International Airport Police Department.

Deputies say Barnes has a Georgia driver’s license and no known local address. He is facing burglary, criminal mischief and petit theft charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

Anyone with information on Barnes or his whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (813) 247-8200.


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