2nd Tampa man arrested in West Shore cigar shop burglary
TAMPA - Police have made a second arrest after the theft of about $15,000 in property from a West Shore Boulevard cigar shop.
Officers arrested Everaldo Alvarez-Burqueno, 18, of Tampa, about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of grand theft.
On July 7, police arrested another suspect, 18-year-old Jeremia Martinez-Cotto of Tampa. He faces eight counts of burglary, three counts of grand theft, five counts of criminal mischief, five counts of petty theft and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card.
Thousands of dollars worth of fine cigars, liquor and items from customers' private lockers were stolen July 3 in the burglary at Gaspar's Cigar Shoppe. Thieves broke into an adjacent office and pushed down a section of drywall to get into Gaspar's, according to Tampa police.
The burglary occurred just days before the second anniversary of the shop's opening at 3675 S. West Shore Blvd., owner Davelis "D.C." Goutoufas wrote in an e-mail to The Tampa Tribune.
The value of the pilfered cigars and other property totaled $15,000, he said. The burglars also made off with a plasma television, police said.
Fingerprints from the scene matched Martinez-Cotto, police say. Officers went to his home at 7504 W. Henry Ave. and conducted surveillance in hopes of catching him. Martinez-Cotto came out of the home and tried driving off, but police boxed him in.
Martinez-Cotto was arrested without incident. Police say he told them he had committed the theft and that he also threw out some of the stolen property along Spruce Street and Eisenhower Boulevard.
Officers came to that area and found no property but say Martinez-Cotto had a cigar and a humidor in his room.
Gaspar's features an all-hours smoking den with premium cigars and gourmet coffee, according to the shop's Web site. The shop also offers private rooms for dominos or television and has private lockers for customers.
What was stolen from those lockers is not known, police said. Goutoufas was to identify locker holders to police.
He said that 18 of the 88 private lockers were "popped open" by the burglars, and that's where most of the stolen high-priced cigars were located. Those cigars ranged in price from $10 to $100, Goutoufas said.
In all, about 50 boxes - about 1,000 cigars - were stolen, he said.
The theft happened between 1:30 and 3 a.m. July 3. The thieves cut the wires to the shop's front security pad before prying open a door to the adjacent office.
Two suspects, whose images were captured on a security camera, came through the wall, but when they entered the walk-in humidor section of the store, the alarm sounded and the thieves left.
Alvarez-Burqueno's bail was set at $8,000. He has since been released from jail.
Martinez-Cotto remains in Orient Road Jail. His bail is set at $27,750.
Source: Tampa Tribune