HOLMES BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) – A keen-eyed vacationer helped Holmes Beach police officers nab a potentially dangerous burglar in the act.
On Friday morning, a vacationer on Palm Harbor Drive witnessed a man suspiciously driving slowly around the neighborhood.
The man then parked around the corner from the neighborhood and minutes later was seen walking down the road with a black hooded jacket over his head, carrying a kayak. He was also spotted placing a TV in his SUV.
The vacationer called 911 and officers quickly located 18-year-old Amado Zeppi.
“He said it was his and he was just moving,” said Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer.
When officers scoured the neighborhood, they found a home with a broken back door window. Inside, they found the home had been burglarized.
Police say Zeppi stole two TVs, a kayak, fishing tackle and golf clubs. Zeppi had also been carrying a butterfly knife and mace.
When they arrested him, Zeppi became defiant. He tried to challenge the officers to a fight.
“He was wanting us to take the handcuffs off so he could fight, calling us derogatory names,” explained Chief Tokajer.
Once they placed Zeppi in the patrol car, he began spitting at the officers and then he spat all over the inside of the vehicle.
There was so much spit that the chief had the vehicle cleaned for biohazards.
“It was really bad,” laughed Tokajer.
Zeppi told officers he broke into the home because the homeowner “probably owned three houses,” so Zeppi felt entitled to take some of the stuff.
Police are investigating to see if Zeppi is connected to other crimes on the island or in the nearby area. Tokajer is thankful for the observant vacationer.
“If you see something out of place, say something,” said Tokajer. “If something looks out of place, call police. We would rather you call us a hundred times and it be an unfounded nothing’s going on, than to miss the one time.”
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