Since Aug. 19, there have been eight burglaries at businesses where coin-pusher type entertainment machines or self-service coin machines have been targeted. Five of those were the former kind; three were the latter.
Earlier Monday, a police officer spotted a white Ford van matching the description of the vehicle used in previous burglaries. The vehicle, driven by Joshua Garner Pool, 30, slowed down as if to turn in to the Publix at Belcher Road and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, then kept going. Multiple Publix stores in Clearwater had been previously targeted.
The officer stopped the van and Poole was arrested for driving with a license suspended or revoked. During subsequent questioning, he admitted to being involved in multiple burglaries. Publix coin bags, burglary tools and a duffle bag with gloves, face coverings and other items also were found inside the vehicle.
Poole was charged with commercial burglary for crimes at the following locations: Citgo, 2000 Drew St.; Maria’s Food Mart, 1333 N. Highland Ave.; Sunoco Express Mart, 1280 S. Highland Ave.; Publix, 1555 S. Highland Ave.; and Publix, 1520 McMullen Booth Road.
Other charges from other Clearwater burglaries likely will be added. Burglaries in other jurisdictions, including Largo and St. Petersburg, also may be linked to Poole.