NEWS RELEASE #: 16-198
A Prolific Offender who was arrested in May 2014 by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office on multiple burglary charges has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Detectives arrested 31-year-old Stephen Pitts and 30-year-old Raymond Corso, after Manatee County detectives requested surveillance assistance on both men as they entered Sarasota County. At the time, Pitts and Corso were suspected of committing burglaries in surrounding counties to include Hillsborough, where Pitts had nine prior convictions for car burglaries. On May 6, 2014, Pitts and Corso drove to a country club in Venice where SCSO deputies conducted surveillance while Pitts broke into three homes and left in the getaway vehicle being driven by Corso. Members of the K-9 Unit conducted a reverse track from where the vehicle last stopped and identified three homes with smashed rear sliders or a slashed lanai screen. When deputies stopped the suspects, they recovered three flat screen televisions and a bag of collectible coins that were later identified by the victims. Pitts and Corso were both charged with two counts of Burglary, one count of Attempted Burglary and three counts of Unlawful Use of a Communications Device for using cell phones to coordinate their getaway.
On Thursday, due in part to his extensive criminal history, Pitts was sentenced to 24 years in prison, consecutive to a 9-year prison sentence imposed in 2014, for Child Neglect and Culpable Negligence. His co-defendant, Corso, was sentenced in 2014 to three years in prison followed by three years of probation.
The sheriff's office would like to thank our partners at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office as well as the State Attorney's Office for the role they played in bringing Stephen Pitts to justice. The joint investigation was seamlessly executed and vigorously prosecuted. Great work by all involved.