Pinellas Park ‘Shoe Bandit’ Caught
The Largo man was caught after a family bought a surveillance camera to watch their entrance.
PINELLAS PARK – For several days, the homeowners would wake up to find that shoes left outside the door were gone while another pair had been left in their place.
They became so worried about the situation, they bought a surveillance camera to monitor the outside and entrance of their home in the 8200 block of 43rd Way N, Pinellas Park police say. The family turned on the system Saturday (March 14) and waited for 4 a.m., the time the shoes seemed to disappear.
When they saw the man on their security system, he was approaching the front of the home. The family confronted him and detained him until the Police Department responded to their call for help. The man they caught was the same man captured on video surveillance from Thursday (March 12) morning, police say.
Police arrested Rusty Wayne Sills, 56, of Largo and charged him with burglary. Police say Sills told them that he buys and sells women’s shoes at a local flea market. The vehicle that Sills used to drive to the location of the crime had about 100 pairs of women’s shoes inside. Despite the fact that he denied ever being at the woman’s home, officers say they found the shoes that were stolen from her home on Thursday.
Police say they are investigating to see if Sills, whom they have nicknamed “the shoe bandit,” was connected with other, similar cases that have been reported. For information, see facebook.com.
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