Reach out and touch someone
6:45 a.m. — South Tamiami Trail and Waldemere Street. Information. A man was seen trying to flag down cars at the above intersection. An officer asked him what he was doing, and he said he had just spent the night in the hospital. He said his father was supposed to pick him up but had not arrived. The man was trying to get someone to stop, so he could use their phone to call his dad. The officer called the man’s dad, who said he was on his way.
Cut and run
8 a.m. — 1800 block of Fruitville Road. Criminal Mischief. A restaurant employee noticed the smell of natural gas in the restaurant. The Fire Department was called, and firefighters discovered that someone intentionally cut the gas line. The employee suspected a former worker who was fired after one day on the job for poor performance. That former worker just happened to be on the scene when the firefighters arrived. The restaurant owner said someone had cut the gas line several times in recent weeks. She believes they could be copper thieves.
Call the cleaning lady
9:40 a.m. — 600 block of Pine Ranch East. Burglary. A couple returned home to find their house ransacked. The front door had been kicked open, and the master bedroom was a mess. Dresser drawers were dumped onto the floor, several jewelry boxes were emptied on the bed and the closet was searched. The only items missing were a few pieces of costume jewelry, which the victim said were not worth much. There were no witnesses.
No return address
2:59 p.m. — 500 block of South Pineapple Avenue. Civil Problem. A woman reported that she had put an antique sculpture on consignment in April at an antique store. It was worth $800. She returned to the store on the above date and found that it had closed. The storeowner moved out of town and disconnected her phone. The officer told her it was a civil matter that had to be settled in court.
Just the facts, please
7:47 a.m. — 2000 block of Ringling Boulevard. General Suspicion. A man reported that someone stole his food stamps. An officer asked him how they could be stolen, because they come in credit-card form. The man explained that he must have lost the card. The officer asked where he lost the card, and the man said it wasn’t actually lost — he had it with him. He said someone used the card without his permission. The officer asked how someone could use the card without the PIN. The man asked if he could get a police report filed to get the charges removed, and the officer said he would file a suspicion report, but not a stolen-card report.
Left holding the bag
9:20 a.m. — 1200 block of East Glen Oaks Drive. Petit Theft. A homeowner placed 15 bags of mulch on the ground and left the area for a few days. When she returned, the mulch was gone. There were no witnesses. The mulch was valued at $2 per bag.
Rock and rolled
3:30 p.m. — 1900 block of Stickney Point Road. Criminal Mischief. Someone picked up rocks from a planter and threw them at a retail store’s sign, causing some damage to it. The same store had a truck with its logo on it. That was also pelted with rocks. The truck’s window was smashed. Total damage was estimated at $3,500.
Shouldering the load
4:15 p.m. — 3500 block of South Tamiami Trail. Petit Theft. A department-store guard watched a senior citizen pick up a new purse from the handbag section and take it into the ladies’ room. She came out a couple minutes later with the purse on her shoulder as if it were hers. The guard stopped her as she walked out the door. She admitted to the theft, and said she was confused and didn’t know why she did it. The woman had other items she had just purchased, as well as several hundred dollars in travelers’ checks.
4:30 p.m. — 20 block of Pine Avenue. Suspicious Incident. Animal services responded to a call about two dogs wandering in the road. They located their owner’s house and noticed that the glass front door was smashed. After further investigation, it appeared the dogs broke the glass, because it shattered outward. A neighbor said there had been a loud clap of thunder right around the time the door was broken.