Sheriff's deputies pulled the plug on a burglary in progress at a Florida Power and Light building in Sarasota early Thursday morning after catching the suspect in the act.
Sarasota County Sheriff's Office conducted surveillance from a FPL bucket truck overnight due to a rash of crimes along McIntosh Road when they spotted Cornelius McClern, 37, of 2813 Pershing Ave., breaking into the FPL building, 5657 McIntosh Road, according to a sheriff's office report.
McClern attempted to pry open the front door at 3:30 a.m., and when he couldn't break in, McClern entered the building through another door, according to the sheriff's office. After he entered, deputies took action and took him into custody.
McClern faces two felony charges — burglary of an occupied structure and possession of burglary tools — and a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief less than $200.
McClern is a career criminal, according to the sheriff's office, having racked up 53 felony charges in Sarasota, Manatee and Pinellas counties since 1990 — that includes burglary, grand theft, trafficking stolen property and more.
He was even released from prison in March and was arrested again in June for a similar crime in Manatee County, according to the sheriff's office.
McClern was booked into the Sarasota County Jail and is being held on $10,870 bond.