The burglar sat in the front seat of the unmarked squad car, proudly directing the detective to dozens of homes. "Make a left here, make a right here," he told the detective during Thursday's tour. "We did this house, that house. Oh, we didn't do that house because we figured that person had a gun."

In all, the thief claimed responsibility for breaking into more than 100 cars and a few homes in Seminole, mostly this week.

How, the incredulous investigator asked, did he do it?

Easy, the 14-year-old replied. He watched CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Authorities say the boy told them he is a CSI junkie who studied the CBS drama to get the inspiration and know-how to launch a criminal career.

"He told us he doesn't watch it for enjoyment. He watches to learn how to commit crimes," said Detective Bill Sumner of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. "He said he watches it religiously."

So confident was the boy that he congratulated deputies for cracking the case. "You guys are awesome," he told Sumner. "I can't believe you caught me."

Deputies are seeking two other boys, ages 13 and 14, said to be accomplices in the crimes, which targeted mainly cars but about 10 homes as well along the east side of Starkey Road from Park Boulevard N to 102nd Avenue. The boys used stolen bicycles to get around, Sumner said.

About $10,000 worth of merchandise has been recovered, the Sheriff's Office said.

Because of the boy's age, the Times is not publishing his name.


http://www.sptimes.com/2005/03/12/So...got_crim.shtml