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Thursday, October 28, 2021

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Suspect in custody after book vending machine vandalized at Palm Harbor library

On October 7, 2021, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office posted a photo to their social media account attempting to identify a subject that burglarized a book vending machine at the Palm Harbor library. The incident took place at approximately 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The library is located at 2330 Nebraska Avenue in Palm Harbor.

As a result of the social media posts, the suspect was identified by multiple citizens as 42 year-old Brian Westfall of Palm Harbor.

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According to arrest documentation, Westfall arrived to the library while carrying an axe that was stowed in a backpack. He used spray paint to cover a surveillance camera overlooking the front door and proceeded to break the front glass of the vending machine. Westfall proceeded to remove all the property from the vending machine and returned some of it to the book drop on the other side of the library. DVDs and Bluray discs were still missing and not recovered.

Westfall admitted to breaking the machine, moving the books and other items to the drop box, and then tipping the machine over. He could not remember if he took the missing DVD or Bluray discs.

According to the arrest affidavit, the damaged vending machine is valued at approximately $24,000 and the value of missing DVDs and Bluray discs is listed as $386.33.

Westfall was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and facing charges of Burglary, Petit theft, and criminal mischief


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