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Six Charged in Home Burglaries in Tampa, Hillsborough, Pasco

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Hillsborough deputies say the six suspects committed 24 residential burglaries, stealing more than $1 million worth of property and money in three jurisdictions.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – A three-month investigation by three law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of six people accused in 24 residential burglaries, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said.

The investigation, dubbed “Operation Trifecta,” started in the Odessa, Keystone and Lutz areas.

Detectives from HCSO’s District III Office identified a residential burglary trend from September to November in those areas. The defendants would arrive in a white van, dressed as construction or utility workers. They would break in through the backs of victims’ homes, either through windows or sliding glass doors

After an alert to other law enforcement agencies, both the Tampa Police Department and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office recognized that they, too, were investigating cases almost identical to the ones in Hillsborough County.

“These burglaries would occur during the day, when most homeowners are hard at work, leaving the suspects to take essentially anything of value that they knew they could resell,” Chronister said.

Between the three law enforcement agencies, the defendants committed 24 residential burglaries, stealing more than $1 million worth of property and money combined. In Hillsborough County, more than $30,000 worth was stolen.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of interagency cooperation,” Chronister said. “It is because we share such a great partnership with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Tampa Police Department, that we were able to identify the essential elements of this criminal enterprise so that we could finally put an end to this crime spree.”

Because of multiple agencies being involved in this investigation, the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution agreed to prosecute the defendants.

“These criminals broke into dozens of Florida homes and stole more than a million dollars’ worth of goods—all while disguised as utility servicemen and construction professionals,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “Thanks to the diligent efforts of my statewide prosecutors working with local law enforcement, the members of this burglary ring are out of these disguises and in inmate uniforms where they belong.”

The investigation is ongoing, as detectives work to link the defendants to other burglaries.

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