WATCH: Looter caught on camera stealing from Lakeland restaurant after Irma

Polk County Sheriff's Office

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A looter was caught on camera stealing hundreds of dollars worth of alcohol and food at a restaurant in Lakeland after Hurricane Irma.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25-year-old Mark Elortegui on Wednesday, just a day after he was seen on surveillance video breaking into Dona Julia’s Mexican Restaurant, which is located at 5375 S. Florida Avenue.

Using a cement paver, Elortegui busted through the front door of the establishment and headed straight for the booze and food. Deputies said he made off with approximately $300 worth of alcohol.

Later, deputies received an unrelated 911 call in reference to a man yelling and acting erratically in a breezeway at Wilmington Apartments.  Responding officers recognized the suspect from video surveillance of the Dona Julia’s burglary and found the stolen property in his possession.  

Elortegui admitted to entering the restaurant and stealing the food and alcohol.

He was taken into custody and charged with burglary during a state of emergency, grand theft, VOP, and violation of curfew.

“Thanks to our citizens who continue to call us about suspicious activity, we were able to quickly identify and apprehend Mark Elortegui before he victimizes any more of our citizens or commits more crime,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.


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