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Suspected thief quickly caught  

Key West police, with the help of area businesses, quickly caught a man who allegedly committed a theft in his own neighborhood and kept hanging around afterwards.

He reportedly could be seen clearly in the surveillance video at the Truman and White Chevron station Monday morning. The attendant left the counter to chase after a non-paying gas customer and a man later identified as Michael Curtis Souza, 50, could be seen opening the swing gate, going behind the counter and taking $230 from the open register.

Looking at the DVD with Key West Police Officer E. J. Cuneo, the manager said the suspect’s name was Michael, he used to work for a local caterer and had recently been removed from a nearby adult book store. Cuneo showed the DVD to the caterer, who recognized the man but did not know where to find him. Then he showed it to the book store owner who said he thought the man lived somewhere on nearby Packer Street.

At 4:05 p.m., the caterer called Cuneo on his cell phone to report seeing the man on Packer Street. Cuneo was there in minutes, noting the man was still wearing the same clothing seen in the DVD. After a brief interview, Cuneo arrested Souza for theft.

“This arrest is the result of the combination of good investigative work and support from area businessmen,” said Chief Bill Mauldin. “It demonstrates how community policing works.”

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