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UPDATE: Business burglary suspect arrested

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 21-003


Saturday December 19, 2020 11:00 PM


UPDATE: Business burglary suspect arrested

A suspect possiblly linked to several business burglaries during the month of December has been located and arrested.
On December 19, 2020, Joseph Williams, 39, used a piece of concrete to break the glass and gain entry into the Taste of China restaurant, located at 8476 Sheldon Road in Town 'N' Country. Once inside, he targeted the cash register.
Similar burglaries were later committed at the Keystone Cafe, located at 8741 Gunn Highway, Bahama Bucks, located at 8527 Gunn Highway, the New China restaurant, located at 17625 Gunn Highway, and Kang Gardens, located at 12221 W Linebaugh Avenue. Each time, the suspect broke the front glass and attempted to steal money from the register.
With the help of surveillance video, Williams was identified as a suspect in the Taste of China burglary and a possible suspect in the additional burglaries. On January 2, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Williams for a charge of Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure in relation to the Taste of China burglary.
On Monday, January 4, Williams was located driving in the same red Chevy Colorado seen on surveillance video at the scene of one of the business burglary. With the assistance of the Pasco Sheriff's Office, Williams was arrested. Detectives believe Williams could also be linked to similar business burglaries in Pasco and Hernando Counties. An investigation is ongoing.
Williams was charged with Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure and other drug-related charges. His booking photo can be found below.
"This last year has been extremely difficult for local small businesses, and being burglarized by this individual only added insult to injury," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Through diligent detective work, we were able to locate Joseph Williams and take him off the streets, so that he can no longer target our hardworking citizens. We will continue working to ensure that justice is served."

ORIGINAL RELASE - December 22, 2020

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is searching for a man believed to be responsible for a rash of business burglaries that occurred over the weekend and into early this week. 
On Saturday, December 19, 2020, between approximately 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., an unknown suspect smashed the front glass door of the Taste of China restaurant located at 8476 Sheldon Road in Town 'N' Country. Deputies discovered dollar bills strewn across the floor and hundreds of dollars missing from the cash register. 
On December 21, 2020, just before 2:00 a.m., The Keystone Cafe, located at 8741 Gunn Highway in Odessa, was also burglarized. The front glass door was shattered, and once inside, deputies saw toothpicks scattered across the floor and determined cash had been stolen. Based on preliminary estimates, damage to the business is calculated at approximately $700.
Shortly after, at approximately 3:00 a.m., deputies were dispatched to Bahama Bucks, located at 8527 Gunn Highway in Odessa, where the front glass door had also been shattered, and an unknown suspect had gained entry. After further investigation, the business owner advised nothing was taken. Surveillance video captured the unknown suspect running toward the south side of the property. Deputies canvassed the wooded area and found a cash register belonging to the Keystone Cafe.
Approximately an hour later, just after 4:00 a.m., deputies responded to the New China restaurant, at 17625 Gunn Highway, where the front glass door had also been shattered. The unknown suspect stole several rolls of coins from the cash register.
Detectives believe the unknown suspect, a white or Hispanic male, with white hair, is traveling in a maroon 2003-2008 Chevrolet Colorado, with tinted windows, and window rain guards.
"We are asking the community to please review the surveillance video and keep an eye out for this thief, who is targeting our local businesses, and not just stealing hard-earned money, but also causing significant damage," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "This has been an especially challenging year, and our business owners have struggled enough as it is to stay afloat. Our detectives are actively trying to identify this man and ask that anyone with information please call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200."