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Local Serial Burglary Suspect Nabbed in New Jersey

John Scalise and his wife were arrested in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, after a burglary spree took them from Florida to the Northeast. Scalise is wanted in connection with a $35,000 jewelry theft at University Square Mall in August.

Local Serial Burglary Suspect Nabbed in New Jersey Local Serial Burglary Suspect Nabbed in New Jersey

When $35,000 in jewelry was taken from the Sears at University Square Mall on Aug. 20, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies identified John Scalise as a suspect.

They were also able to connect Scalise, 35, to more than a dozen other burglaries within the county and elsewhere. Deputies just weren’t able to find him to make an arrest – until now.

Scalise and his wife, Kathy Garcia, 41, were arrested Sept. 1 in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, which is a suburb of Atlantic City, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office media release. Scalise, the release said, “had burglarized six Asian restaurants and (a) Macy’s department store in Egg Harbor Township and surrounding townships.”

Scalise, the release said, took $66,000 in jewelry from the Macy’s before being arrested.

The Hillsborough sheriff’s office worked with the Tampa and Temple Terrace police departments and other agencies, including the Santee Police Department in South Carolina and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, to connect Scalise to a number of crimes in these areas and others.

According to the release, Scalise has been connected to:

  • The Aug. 18 burglary of China One, 2774 E. Fowler Ave.
  • The Aug. 19 burglary of Hibachi Buffet, 13612 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
  • The Aug. 20 burglary of Sears, 2266 University Square

He is also wanted in two cases; six Tampa Police Department cases and 12 cases out of Broward County.

Following the arrest of Scalise and Garcia, authorities were able to recover about “$30,000 worth of jewelry from the Sears burglary and $66,000 worth of jewelry from Macy’s,” the release said. “Also recovered was a unique mask that was worn in multiple cases in Hillsborough County and $3,000 in currency and merchandise that was purchased with stolen money.”

Scalise is being held without bond at the Atlantic Detention Facility in New Jersey. Bond for Garcia was set at $100,000, the release said.

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