Deputies say man stole cash from car with flat tire

By Times Staff
Published March 21, 2006

TAMPA - Deputies are searching for a man who they think stole a laptop computer and $10,000 cash from a bank manager's car on Monday.

Angelus Pingol, 26, manager of Philippine National Bank, was on his way to Wachovia Bank just after 2 p.m. when he pulled over to change a flat tire at Busch Boulevard and N Dale Mabry Highway.

A man in a white Toyota Highlander pulled up to offer assistance and engage Pingol in conversation, deputies said. After the man left, Pingol noticed the laptop and a bank bag were missing from his vehicle.

While Pingol was giving his report to deputies, a woman at a Bank of America on N Dale Mabry Highway contacted authorities to tell them she'd found a bank bag containing checks made out to Wachovia.

She delivered the bank bag to a Wachovia branch at Fletcher Avenue and N Dale Mabry Highway. About $10,000 in cash was missing, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Deputies said that the man driving the Highlander is Hispanic and was wearing a dirty white Polo shirt.

Anyone in the vicinity of N Dale Mabry and Busch Boulevard around 2 p.m. Monday who might have seen anything related to the incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Deputies look for leads in string of burglaries

TAMPA - More than two dozen businesses in western Hillsborough County have been the target of smash-and-grab burglaries since mid February, and sheriff's detectives are asking for the public's help in solving the crimes.

The burglaries started Feb. 14 at Milly's Flowers, 5015 W Waters Ave., and continued through Monday, with a break-in at Plantation Animal Hospital, 4584 N Gunn Highway.

The thief or thieves get into the businesses by smashing through the front door or window, detectives said. Inside, they steal everything from food and wine to cash and jewelry.

Most of the businesses are along busy corridors including Gunn Highway, Waters Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway.

The businesses hit include a discount vitamin center, an Italian restaurant, a barbecue restaurant, a barbershop, a shoe repair shop and a law enforcement supply store.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200 or CrimeStoppers at (800) 873-8477.

Garbage truck's contents catch fire; tires explode

TAMPA - The contents of a garbage truck caught fire Monday, causing the truck's tires to explode.

The Liberty Waste Co. truck was at Marquise Apartments, 2106 E 140th Ave., about 3:15 p.m. when the driver pulled the garbage truck around the back of the apartment complex to pick up the Dumpster and noticed smoke rising from the back of the truck. The intense heat caused the tires to explode, but there were no injuries or evacuations.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue extinguished the blaze. Only the truck, trees and a fence were damaged.