He would arrive driving a charcoal-grey Nissan Altima with black rims and would make sure no one was home, sometimes by ringing the door bell. Then, he would break into the house by smashing a rear window and take off with jewelry and electronics he either pawned or kept at his Sulphur Spring home, accordind to the Tampa Police Department.
Duane Armstrong, 34, committed dozens of burglaries throughout Tampa and possibly Hillsborough County and other surrounding counties over the past year, according to Tampa Police.
On Thursday, April 19, Tampa Police District 2 officers arrested Armstrong at his home, 8502 N. 15th St., where they discovered a variety of stolen items, such as jewelry, foreign coins, firearms, and electronics, said Tampa police Lt. Mary O’Connor during a press conference.
The alleged serial burglar was arrested on charges of burglary, grand theft, and petit theft, according to police.
“Several cases in the past few weeks have turned up surveillance video of an unique Nissan Altima leaving the scene or arriving at the scene of residential burglaries, so a city-wide search ensued for this Nissan Altima and every police officer in the city was looking for this vehicle” said O’Connor. “Upon arrival (at Armstrong’s residence), we recognize immediately the charcoal-grey Nissan Altima in his driveway that have been captured in all the surveillance videos in the last few weeks.”
that the Crime Analysis Unit identified a residential burglary pattern, as , including a burglary at 2120 W. Skagway Ave., where Armstrong's fingerprints were found. Also, his vehicle was captured on a neighbor’s exterior surveillance camera, say police.
Armstrong was charged for the burglary on West Skagway Avenue, and for two other burglaries, one at 1718 W. Grace St. in North Hyde Park that occurred on Tuesday, April 17, and one at 11206 N. 51St St. that occurred last October.
Armstrong may face several more charges. He is under investigation for many more burglaries throughout the city, police said.
Armstrong, who is classified as a habitual violent felony offender, was released from prison three years ago. In 2009, he was caught burglarizing a home in Miami-Dade County. The victim, who was home alone at the time of the crime, fled her house and called the police. Upon arrival, Miami-Dade law enforcement officers shot Armstrong twice in the abdomen after Armstrong reached into his pocket.
Armstrong is being held without bond in Hillsborough County Jail and “will be held until we can possibly make some other cases on him, “ said O’Connor.
The Nissan Altima that police say he used to facilitate the various crimes was seized.