PROLIFIC BURGLAR AND CAREER CRIMINAL APPREHENDED

10/27/16

A collaborative “Team of Teams” effort led to the arrest of a prolific commercial burglar and violent career criminal. Anthony Morrell, 53 (04/02/1964), was arrested Tuesday night by Tampa Police after an extensive search that involved detectives and officers from TPD's District 3 as well as detectives from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Since his release from federal prison in late August 2016 on numerous firearm charges, Morrell has been on a drug-fueled crime spree victimizing multiple businesses throughout east Tampa and unincorporated Hillsborough County. Included in the twenty-three different criminal charges listed on Morrell’s booking affidavit are commercial burglaries, auto burglaries, auto thefts, grand thefts, criminal mischief, possession of cocaine, as well as numerous counts of dealing in stolen property and defrauding a pawn broker.

Morrell’s method of operation (M.O.) was to forcibly enter commercial businesses late at night and remove tools and construction equipment and then steal a vehicle from the property to transport the stolen items.
It is believed that Morrell started his crime spree in earnest on or about October 8, 2016, and likely would have continued if not stopped by the dedicated efforts of Tampa Police and HCSO investigators.

A combination of investigative skill and good old-fashioned teamwork put investigators on the trail of Morrell late last week. After his arrest Tuesday, Tampa Police detectives were able to obtain full confessions from Morrell. Additional criminal charges are pending.
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