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Tampa Bay Burglars Steal $1 Million In Property In Series Of Break-Ins

Money found
More than $1 million worth of stolen property and money were recovered after a multi-agency rackaterring bust Tuesday. COURTESY Hillsborough County Sherrif's Office

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Tuesday the arrests of six individuals following a three-month, multi-agency racketeering investigation.

“Operation Trifecta” began after the suspects, dressed as construction or utility workers, broke into 24 residences and took more than $1 million worth of property and money.

"These burglaries would occur during the day, when most homeowners are hard at work, leaving the suspects to take essentially anything of value that they knew they could resell," Chronister said in a release.

Signed guitar
Autographed guitar one of many items stolen in a series home burglaries across the Tampa Bay area. COURTESY Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Officials said the suspects would enter through the rear of victims' homes, either through windows or sliding glass doors.

The burglaries began in the Odessa, Keystone and Lutz areas in September through November of last year before other law enforcement agencies recognized they had similar cases.

"It is because we share such a great partnership with the Pasco Sheriff's Office and Tampa Police Department that we were able to identify the essential elements of this criminal enterprise so that we could finally put an end to this crime spree," Chronister said.

The investigation continues as detectives try to see if the suspects are linked to other burglaries.

"Thanks to the diligent efforts of my statewide prosecutors working with local law enforcement,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “the members of this burglary ring are out of these disguises and in inmate uniforms where they belong.”

Facing charges are: 

  • Ernesto Hinojosa, 45
  • Yuniel Hinojosa-Gallardo, 31
  • Arleys Bonet Mustelier, 39
  • Yarisley Cuervo Reyes, 27
  • Yasmani Hernandez Rodriguez, 32
  • Alain Rodriguez Roig, 28

Watches and jewelry found
A collection of watches and jewelry recovered after racketeering bust. COURTESY Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Dylan Rudolph is the WUSF Radio News Intern for the spring 2020 semester.
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