Authorities in Hernando County have arrested a 44-year-old convicted felon with an extensive criminal history in North Carolina in connection with a string of bank robberies.
The crimes have occurred in multiple Bay area jurisdictions since December 3rd. Tyrone Michael Brinkley was arrested Friday and booked into the Hernando County Jail. He is facing several charges including burglary to an unoccupied structure and operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license.
He is being held without bond and additional charges are expected.
According to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report a handful of banks have been burglarized during nighttime hours. The crimes occurred in the City of Brooksville, Pasco County, Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa and Hernando County.
Most of the incidents have occurred in Hernando County.
Deputies with HCSO's Biometrics Unit collected DNA samples from two of the burglaries and sent those samples to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE failed to come up with a match but sent the DNA to a national database.
It was an exact match for a suspect in a 2004 burglary case in North Carolina. Hernando detectives made contact with the Durham Police Department who provided them information on Brinkley.
Hernando County detectives received information on an address where the suspect was staying and a search warrant was executed. Confiscated from the home was clothing allegedly worn by Brinkley during the commission of some of the crimes.
This investigation was conducted in conjunction with the Brooksville Police Department, Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Durham Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the FBI.
"Criminology teaches us that a suspect always leaves evidence at the scene of a crime," said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis. "Here is another example where technology was used to find, collect and process that evidence allowing us to put a serial burglar behind bars."
Brinkley has been convicted of similar crimes previously in North Carolina. The investigation continues.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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