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Man arrested after damaging several South Tampa businesses

Posted at 10:02 AM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 10:04:07-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A South Tampa business estimates more than $1,000 in damage after someone shattered its front door.

The crime happened Tuesday, and the owner of Bloom Body Art on Dale Mabry said it was caught on surveillance.

“I was already taking a chance and trying to bet on myself,” owner Matthew Feck said. “So it felt really personal that somebody would.”

Feck said he opened the store at 24 years old, it's nearly a year old. But while celebrating his birthday on a vacation last week, he was notified what happened.

“It was really, really disheartening. It’s a terrible feeling,” he said.

The video shows someone picking something up outside the store, and shattering the front door with it.

Feck said it made it across new floors all the way to the lobby desk.

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“I just felt disrespected. Scary feeling to have somebody in your space that doesn’t have permission to be there. I’m thankful that nothing was taken. But you know you just don’t expect that kind of thing to happen to you,” he said.

But his business wasn’t the only one impacted.

According to police reports, officers found damage to a window at Tires Plus, at Five Brothers Insurance, at McDonald’s and at Take 5 Oil Change on Dale Mabry S. In total, investigators estimated the damage to be around $8,000.

“I just think if everybody could turn not so a blind eye to everybody else’s things and kind of took off the horse blinders we could all watch each other’s homes, businesses, cars, lives, a little bit better,” said Feck.

According to the police reports, a witness saw a man swinging something into the window of Tires Plus and heard glass breaking.

When officers arrived, an investigator heard shattering from across the street while taking photographs of the damage of the window at Tires Plus. Another investigator encountered a man matching a description. When officers approached him, they said he started emptying his pockets, and placed several large rocks onto the road.

Police arrested 26-year-old Austin Taylor. He faces charges of criminal mischief.

According to police reports, Taylor admitted to the crime.