Since the East County Observer launched Cops Corner in August 1999, it has consistently been one of the most beloved features in the paper.
So, as we celebrate another year, we have compiled our favorite entries of 2013.
6:32 p.m. — Linger Lodge Road/Ranch Lake Boulevard. Suspicious Incidents. A deputy responded to a suspicious bag sitting on the side of the road; a beeping noise was coming from it. The deputy carefully approached the beeping bag and did not see any suspicious items inside of it. Bomb tech was notified. A detective determined the beeping object was not a bomb but, rather, an old smoke detector.
11:57 a.m. — 8800 block of Brookfield Terrace. Suspicious Incidents. A woman showed a deputy the exterior of her garage door and pointed to several small handprints. The deputy inspected the door and did not notice any damage or signs of an attempted break-in. It appears a small child placed the palms of his hands against the door to make the prints. The woman said her husband owns a portable ultrasound business and keeps his equipment in the garage, and she is suspicious someone tried to steal his equipment.
How does your garden grow?
12:03 a.m. — 15100 block of State Road 64 E. Theft. Unknown person(s) entered an unfenced portion of a plant nursery and took a tree boom. There are no suspects and little evidence to locate the missing boom.
2:30 p.m. — 8100 block of Nature’s Way. Identity Theft. A woman reported that her husband used her identity to file taxes while they were separated but still legally married.
Seeing the light
2:58 p.m. — 12300 block of Hollybush Terrace. Larceny. A man called the police to report the theft of lightbulbs from his front yard lamppost.
Just roll with it
2:26 p.m. — 5100 block of Windmill Manor Avenue. Stolen Decal. A woman reported someone stole her mother’s mobile-home decal from the outside of a window.
5:23 p.m. — 6200 block of State Road 64 E. Theft. Two men entered a department store and placed altered barcodes over the original barcodes of items. The items rang up at a lower price than listed. Loss prevention apprehended one of the men, but the second man pushed the manager out of the way and left the store.
Leaving her mark
11:40 p.m. — 2000 block of 45th Street Court E. Property Found. A woman called the police to report her roommate, who had recently moved out, left items in the residence.
3:05 p.m. — 3100 block of 48th Ave. Drive E. Information. A man found three squirrels, two of which were dead. He took the surviving squirrel home to care for it and realized it had been shot in the back leg with a pellet gun.
12:22 a.m. — 2500 block of Whitfield Avenue. Theft. A manager of a convenience store witnessed a man conceal two candy bars and two doughnuts in his pants. The man attempted to exit the store without paying for the items, valued at $5.13. The store manager stopped the man and escorted him back inside. Deputies arrested the man.
Lost and found
5 p.m. — 6700 State Road 70 E. Information Only. A woman left her house to take a driving test at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. She said the drive should have taken 15 minutes, but she missed a turn and got lost. She continued driving until she stopped at a bank. The bank contacted the Sheriff’s Office for assistance. The woman’s sister-in-law spoke with the deputy and said she would pick up the woman from the bank.
12:38 p.m. — Intersection of Forest Run Drive and State Road 70 E. Lost Property. A juvenile was flying his custom-built quad helicopter with a remote control, while standing on Lakewood Ranch High School property. The juvenile lost sight of the helicopter as it flew toward Forest Run Drive and State Road 70. The helicopter had a camera attached to it. The juvenile’s father wanted to report the helicopter and camera as lost.
Just a trim
4:30 p.m. — 5600 block of Gardens Drive. Suspicious Incidents. A woman contacted the Sheriff’s Office after she arrived home and found the wooden trim around the inside of her front door lying on her living room floor. The 6-foot-long trim had been nailed to the door. Deputies could not find pry marks on the door, and there were no signs of forced entry. Deputies searched her apartment and found nothing suspicious. No items were stolen. The woman contacted her handyman to fix the trim.
Not on the house
4:40 a.m. — 6300 block of State Road 64 East. Unarmed Robbery. A white male entered a breakfast restaurant. He ordered a cup of coffee, before telling the waitress he had no money to pay for it. The man then left the restaurant and returned minutes later to ask the waitress if she had any change. The waitress reached for her purse, in which she keeps her tips. The man snatched the purse from her hands and took $5. He ran out the front door in an unknown direction. A deputy responded to the scene and watched surveillance video of the incident. The deputy then went across the street and noticed a white male wearing a gray T-shirt and red basketball shorts walking outside a motel. The man had the same facial hair as the suspect in the surveillance video. The deputy arrested the man.
8:51 a.m. — 8000 block of Lockwood Ridge Road. Found Property. A woman reported she found a gallon bottle of hydrochloric acid at the intersection of Lockwood Ridge Road and University Parkway. The woman was walking to work when she stopped at a red light and saw the bottle in the crosswalk of the intersection. The woman called the police, because she was concerned someone might get hurt. A deputy collected the bottle and confiscated it to be destroyed.
3:43 p.m. — 5000 block of Ranch Lake Boulevard. Theft. A woman selected 77 clothing items from the value section of a department store and concealed them in plastic bags she had brought into the store. She then exited the store without paying for the items. The woman was taken to the store’s security office. She admitted she was carrying no money and had entered the store with the intent to steal.
8:45 a.m. — 700 block of 60th Street Court E. Information. The complainant reported that some time between noon and 5 p.m. Aug. 6, the parking lot was painted. Some paint wound up on the tire of her vehicle. The complainant wanted the incident recorded.
1:15 a.m. — 5000 block of 33rd Street E. Petit/Grand Theft. The suspect entered the store, took a cookie from the cookie display and proceeded to break the display.
9:17 a.m. — 7000 Block of Pine Trace Drive. Burglary/Larceny. A resident reported that someone entered his lanai and took an orchid plant, damaged another plant and threw dirt into the swimming pool.
6:15 p.m. — 2900 block of 53rd Avenue E. Theft. A department store staff member witnessed a woman select cosmetic items from a shelf and conceal them in her handbag. Items inside the handbag, which she kept in her cart, included a hairbrush and deodorant. She then paid for some of the items, but she kept others in the handbag. She also didn’t pay for a bag of candy. She exited the store and was arrested. Stolen items were valued at $62.12.
6:06 a.m. — 6000 block of 39th Court E. Property Found. A deputy responded to a traffic complaint. The deputy arrived to find a woman complaining that she found a cell phone in the middle of the road near her home.
1:42 a.m. — 2900 block of 53rd Avenue E. Theft. A person entered a department store and selected two packages of steaks and one package of chicken from the shelf and placed them in her cart. She then went to the paper-goods aisle and concealed the items in her purse. The woman eventually paid for some items and left with others, for which she did not pay, in her purse. She was detained upon leaving the store. Stolen items valued at $32.
One man’s trash
8:39 a.m. —8300 block of Lockwood Ridge Road. Trespass Warning. A homeless man sat at the edge of a lake reading a magazine. He was surrounded by trash and empty beer cans. A deputy issued a trespass warning to the man, because he felt the man’s appearance and behavior was disruptive. The man offered to clean up the mess, but then he acted arrogant, a deputy said, and left the property.