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Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Wesley Chapel man arrested after 3-month string of car, business burglaries

A Wesley Chapel man was arrested Monday night in connection with a three-month burglary spree in which at least three east Pasco businesses were targeted, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

Ramon Junior Rivera, 24, of 4004 Landrum Drive, remains in the Land O’ Lakes Jail with bail set at $86,000.

In addition to the businesses, at least four vehicles were burglarized.

About 3:13 a.m. on Sept. 10, deputies said Rivera entered Dickey’s Barbecue Pit restaurant at 2653 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. after smashing a window with a brick. Rivera was unable to remove anything from the business, but just five minutes later he broke into The Hungry Greek, which is in the same plaza, deputies said.

According to deputies, Rivera used a crow bar to break into a cash register, stealing $100 in cash.

Rivera then broke into a third restaurant in the same center, Latin Twist Café, stealing $300 in cash, deputies said.

On Sept. 11 at 3 a.m., Rivera broke into Boyd Jewelers, at 5028 Mission Square Lane in Zephyrhills, stealing an empty gift box and four sets of sample display rings, which held a total value of $150, deputies said.

The following morning, he stole $200 in cash from a Zephyrhills Subway restaurant and $130 from Tokyo Grill & Sushi, also in Zephyrhills, the arrest report stated.

The burglary spree began with a June 16 burglary of an unlocked Honda on Sand Key Lane in Wesley Chapel. Rivera stole several items from the car, including a Kindle Fire tablet, military ID and cash, according to an arrest report.

The next incident was a July 8 car break-in during which Rivera stole several credit cards and a checkbook, among other items, after breaking a car’s back window, the report said.

During the investigation, deputies recovered property belonging to the burglary victims. After his arrest, Rivera admitted to targeting the locations and identified the tools used to burglarize the businesses, deputies said. He also identified the items that were stolen, the report said.

Rivera was also charged with failure to register as a convicted felon. Bond is revoked on that count.

This is the third arrest since April for Rivera, who has had two stints in state prison. He spent eight months in prison for motor vehicle grand theft and was released in 2008. He was then convicted on gun, burglary and ammunition-related charges and spent 33 months in prison before his July 2012 release. Both were Hillsborough County convictions.

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