TARPON SPRINGS — Three teenage boys were taken into custody this week in relation to multiple car burglaries, the Tarpon Springs Police Department reported.
Officers began investigating the case at approximately 10:45 p.m., Monday, when responding to a call of an in-progress vehicle burglary in the 700 block of Driftwood Lane. A Pinellas County Sheriff's Office K9 unit and an air unit assisted TSPD officers and a 17-year-old male was taken into custody. The teen was charged with one count of burglary and the investigation developed two more juvenile suspects.
Less than six hours later, at approximately 4:35 a.m., Tuesday, TSPD officers responded to the 700 block of Lincoln Avenue in reference to a report of another vehicle burglary. This incident resulted in the theft of a Smith and Wesson .380 M&P pistol from an unlocked vehicle, reports state. The suspects also stole two bicycles, officers reported, and a subsequent canvas of the area revealed the suspects burglarized multiple vehicles in the area.
Reports state that the search of the area by TSPD officers and detectives resulted in the location of two teenage, male suspects, one 16 and the other 14. The teens were found hiding in bushes near the intersection of Meres Boulevard and Lynlea Lane, reports state. Officers located the stolen firearm within the bushes were the suspects were apprehended, and the two stolen bicycles were found as well.
The 16- and 14-year-old suspects were each charged with one count of burglary and one count of grand theft auto.
As of a press release Tuesday afternoon, the TSPD Detective Unit took over the case and the investigation continues, with additional charges pending.
Anyone with additional information related to these auto burglaries is asked to contact the Tarpon Springs Police Department Detective Unit at 727-938-2849.
In the Tuesday afternoon press release, the TSPD advised residents to lock all unattended vehicles and to not leave firearms or other valuables in vehicles.