Detectives seek help in break-ins

By Times Staff
Published March 21, 2006

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.

Detectives said the thief or thieves get in by smashing through the front door or window. Most of the businesses are along busy corridors.

The businesses hit include a discount vitamin center, two restaurants, a barbershop, a shoe repair shop, even a law enforcement supply store.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200 or Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477.