TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A man linked to at least four business burglaries in Tampa was arrested Thursday, police said.
Police said the front glass door of the Vincent & Tampa Cigar Company was shattered after a suspect, later identified as 53-year-old Tommy Lee Russell, threw a rock through the window to gain entry just before 5 a.m. on Sept. 16.
Once inside, police said Russell targeted the cash drawer, stealing an unknown amount of money before fleeing the business on a bicycle.
Tampa police said they identified the burglary as part of a crime pattern in the area. Police said video surveillance and additional evidence at the scene led them to identify Russell as the suspect.
On Wednesday, Russell was located and questioned about the incident. Police said he confessed to burglarizing the cigar business and committing a similar offense at the Tampa Steak Company.
Police said the Tampa Steak Company was targeted on Sept. 5. The front glass window was smashed in with a brick. Police said the suspect could not enter the locked door so he left on a bicycle.
Russell was later identified as the suspect seen on surveillance video also burglarizing La Oriental Bakery and Chiles Mexican Restaurant on West Columbus Drive, officers said.
Police said in both instances Russell used a brick to smash the front glass door and sought the cash register once inside.
Russell has been charged with four counts of burglary of an unoccupied structure, police said.
Detectives said they believe Russell could be linked to additional business burglaries.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130.