Crimes reported in USF Health area

University Police (UP) officials said they believe one man is linked to several incidents of theft on campus, all of which took place in the USF Health area. A community crime alert has been issued for the suspect.

UP spokeswoman, Meg Ross said the alert, which was issued early last week by e-mail and posted on the UP Web site, contained pictures from two separate incidents in which the suspect was seen on camera around the time the thefts occurred.

The suspect is a black male between the ages of 32 and 45, with a medium build and short hair, Ross said.

The crime alert stated that the man “carries a piece of paper around or manila envelope which he refers to when (questioned by anyone).”

Ross said UP believes he is carrying around the materials in order to give the appearance that he has something to do at USF.

Ross said three thefts are linked to the suspect: a wallet reported stolen on April 24, another wallet was reported stolen on April 29, and three Dell Latitude D laptops reported stolen on April 30. All thefts were from the College of Nursing.

A skateboard was also reported stolen from the Morsani Center on April 29, but Ross said UP does not believe the suspect is associated with that incident.

Chief of Police Tom Longo said that UP might have actually seen the suspect out in public, but were not able to apprehend him because it was off campus. Longo said that in instances of multiple crimes, a community crime alert is issued.

“(An alert) enables (the community) to proactively be on the lookout for this person that’s been a problem, possibly in their area of campus,” he said. “It makes people aware of what we’re looking for, so there are more eyes and ears out there looking for the suspect.”

Ross said this alert should remind people that since the University is open to the
public, it provides an opportunity for people who want to commit crimes.

“While you may think it’s a controlled environment, remember you have people walking through the halls,” she said. “If somebody is wandering the halls, then it might be somebody you want to report. They come into empty offices and grab something quick, like a purse.”

Longo said that if someone thinks they see the suspect pictured in this crime alert, they should immediately call 911 or UP’s administrative number, 813-974-2628.