Thieves Use Stolen Trucks to Rob Tampa Businesses During Irma

Thieves Use Stolen Trucks to Rob Tampa Businesses During Irma
(Video screenshot/Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office via Storyful)
Chris Jasurek

It is said that great minds think alike. Apparently, criminal minds do too.

In three separate incidents in Tampa, Florida, thieves used stolen vehicles to crash into stores left unattended during Hurricane Irma, loading looted goods right into the improvised battering rams.

Security camera footage shows four suspects ramming their way into Teresa's Food Market in Tampa. The thieves used a four-door Ford F-150 pickup they heisted earlier in the day. The quartet made off with a lottery machine and sundry merchandise.

A reward has been offered for any information about the Sept. 10 break-in.

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies are investigating this and another pair of similar robberies. Video caught several suspects entering Tampa Bay Powersports after driving a vehicle through the side wall. This bunch grabbed seven dirt bikes valued at more than $38,000. The burglars damaged several more motorcycles when they crashed through the wall.

And finally, police in neighboring Tampa Terrace arrested 31-year-old Jonathan Smalls, who used a stolen pickup truck to break into DTLR Clothing Store.

Smalls was caught trying to flee on foot after a routine traffic stop revealed that not only was the truck stolen, it was packed with merchandise looted from DTLR Clothing and Shoe Mountain.

Smalls faces several charges, including burglary of a business structure during a state of emergency and grand theft during a state of emergency.

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