PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) — Pinellas Park police arrested a Clearwater man who was wanted for more than 37 commercial burglary offenses in a county-wide crime spree lasting several months.
Police said 38-year-old Ismar Becirovic targeted businesses in Pinellas County that specialize in HVAC installations and repairs. The total damage was estimated at more than $100,000.
Pete Dembek, owner of Prime Air Conditioning & Refrigeration in Clearwater, joined the list of businesses targeted about five weeks ago. He said they are a small, family owned business, so when something like this happens, everything stops.
“The truck ends up sitting there, where they’re supposed to go to a customer’s house and serve them. That all gets delayed,” Dembek said. “It’s upsetting.”
Dembek said the suspect cut through their fence, cut the lock off a box truck and and stole whatever he could get his hands on, including copper tubing, refrigerant and other parts. A few weeks later, that same man came back and broke in the exact same way.
“He cut into another container, which had a lot of copper tubing in it, and he took all of that,” Dembek said.
Dembek said his business lost up to $10,000. As a result, they’re installing a new security system with surveillance cameras and more lighting around the premises. “You lose a lot and then you have to make precautions so you don’t keep getting taken advantage of,” Dembek said.
While he doesn’t think he will see any of the copper or supplies stolen again, Dembek said he is relieved that police put an end to this man’s crime spree. “I just hope he goes away for a long time,” Dembek said.
This is not Becirovic’s first run-in with the law. In 2018, he was arrested for grand theft and contracting without a license.
Becirovic committed offenses that have been investigated by the Pinellas Park Police Department, Largo Police Department, Clearwater Police Department, St. Petersburg Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Each agency investigated similar offenses and linked them to Becirovic.
Becirovic was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and charged with eight counts of burglary, two counts of possession of burglary tools and one count of criminal mischief. His bond was set at $45,250.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.