Car Break-Ins Spurred By Purses in View

Surveillance cameras catch another series of vechicle break-ins, this time in a parking lot on Lumsden Road. Caught on Shapes fitness center surveillance cameras, the thieves are seen using flashlights to determine which cars to strike.


Those signs you see posted begging you to keep your vehicle doors locked and your handbags, purses, wallets and other personal items and valuables out of sight? They're not kidding, and they're for your own good, comes the word from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which reports yet another series of car break-ins in the Greater Brandon area.

This time, a pair of thieves was caught in the act, on Nov. 19, at 6:45 p.m., on the surveillance cameras at the Shapes fitness center at 731 Lumsden Road in Brandon. The two thieves are seen exiting a white, newer-model Mercedes GL450, then looking into parked cars with flashlights.

The thieves "continued checking the parked cars until they found three vehicles with purses and other personal items sitting out in plain view," according to the sheriff's report. The two then "smashed the car windows" and fled with the stolen items.

One of the thieves reportedly called the bank of one of the victims and asked about account balances. According to the report, "this is [a] typical method of operation previously seen by the criminal group known as the 'Felony Lane Gang.' "

The sheriff's office urgest motorists to take heed:

  • See Lumsden Road Car Break-Ins Yield Urgent Reminder — Again

One thief is described as a black male, with short hair, wearing a white, tank-top and dark-colored and hooded zip-up sweatshirt. The second suspect, of unknown sex, reportedly wore jeans and a light-colored, pull-over and hooded, sweatshirt.

Have a tip to report? Call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 247-8200. To be eligible for a cash reward, with information leading to an arrest, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477). Report anonymously at Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay online. Or text "CSTB (plus your tip)" to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637).


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