PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Largo man is in jail Friday, accused of going on a months-long stealing spree all over Pinellas County.
Sefer Tzekas is no stranger to the law. He has been arrested dozens of times in the last few decades, according to state prison records and documents from the Pinellas County Clerk of Courts’ website.
More will be added to that list after he was arrested again, this time for stealing from more than a dozen homes, condo buildings and businesses.
“It’s kind of crazy. You feel like you’re secure here, you know?” said Mark Eagan. “This is kind of a nice area. That kind of thing wouldn’t happen in this part of town. That’s crazy.”
Eagan’s mother-in-law owns a condo at Mont Martre on Belleair Beach. Tzekas is accused of stealing some pool umbrellas from the pool area and taking them back to his Largo home.
“Very out of character. A lot of times we’ve left our doors unlocked and people come and go. But now, it kind of puts it in a new light,” Eagan said.
In Tzekas’ neighborhood, many residents refused to go on camera, fearing retaliation by him. They called him confrontational and rude.
“He was nothing but nice to me,” said Will Leber. “Like never had a problem, nothing. Kind of a shock. I came home one day and there was 30 [police] cars just lined up.”
In arrest papers, Tzekas told investigators he had been actively stealing items for six months and blamed mental health as his reason. One arrest report says he admitted he goes out stealing at night when he can’t sleep. In another arrest report, police say Tzekas blamed his family for cutting him off and said he believes he deserves nice things.
Those papers show that he stole patio furniture, tables, decorative items, a hammock, plants and power tools from homes. He also hit a Home Depot store and a bait shop, detectives said.
The stolen items are valued in the thousands of dollars, records show.
News Channel 8 stopped by his home for comment, but no one came to the door.