Act your age
12:08 a.m. — 2300 block of Ringling Boulevard. Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. A young woman came home to find her ex-boyfriend inside her home, smoking pot and drinking beer with three minors. The woman said she has no idea how they got into her home. She called police. When an officer arrived, he saw a cloud of marijuana smoke enveloping the four potheads. They tried to escape through the back door, but another officer was anticipating that move and was waiting for them there. On the coffee table were beer cans, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Ex-boyfriend may soon be an ex-con, too.
12:26 a.m. — 1 block of North School Avenue. Criminal Mischief. A security guard on routine patrol noticed a puff of smoke coming from the top level of a parking garage. He didn’t know if a fire had started, so he investigated. When he reached the top level, he saw three teenagers riding their bikes down the garage ramp. He stopped them, and they admitted to using two fire extinguishers. The guard called the police, and the three teens were taken to jail.
Cool and the gang
8 a.m. — 2800 block of Ringling Boulevard. Theft. Police are looking for the people who stole five air-conditioning units and attempted to steal four others from an office building. Officers were able to collect fingerprints from the scene.
10 a.m. — 40 block of South Palm Avenue. Suspicious Person. Police received a report of a strange man loitering on the third floor of a parking garage. An officer responded but could not find anyone.
Have wallet, will travel
1 p.m. — 5100 block of Clark Road. Petit Theft. While at a coffee shop, a man had his wallet stolen. The victim said one of his credit cards was used to make a $60 purchase the next morning in Tarpon Springs, which is about 70 miles away.
Don’t you want to smell the cork?
1:53 p.m. — 5000 block of Ocean Boulevard. Retail Theft. A convenience-store manager watched a customer remove a bottle of Gallo white zinfandel from the cooler and head straight to the bathroom. When she emerged, she no longer had the bottle. The manager bee-lined it to the bathroom and found the empty wine bottle. A sheriff’s deputy caught up with the woman in the parking lot and arrested her. It’s not clear whether she downed the entire bottle in the bathroom or poured it into another container.
Slip sliding away
3:09 p.m. — 30 block of Watergate Drive. Suspicious Incident. Complainant saw two Jet Skis in the water. One had a rider on top of it. The other was sans rider and was about 300 feet away from a man floating in the water.
4:11 p.m. — 2000 block of South Shade Avenue. General Suspicion. A man was evicted from a rooming house and was only able to take some of his belongings with him, when he left. He returned two weeks later to pick up more stuff and discovered that three of his trumpets were missing. He said the property manager said that the rooming-house manager mentioned something about pawning the trumpets. Guess the Earth, Wind and Fire audition will have to wait.
7:20 p.m. — 8200 South Tamiami Trail. Grand Theft. Two people approached a jewelry-store counter and asked to see an expensive gold chain. One of the people asked the employee to get a mirror. As the saleswoman reached for the mirror, she heard a pop, which she knew was the tag being torn off the chain. One of the suspects apologized, saying the tag must have come off on its own. A suspect then asked if she could try on the chain, and as she held it, she “accidentally” dropped it. When the suspect picked up the chain and returned it, the employee immediately saw it was not the same chain. The suspects took off, but security guards caught them in the parking lot. They had swapped a $10 gold chain for one that was worth $2,700.
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Sound of hope
The holiday season hasn’t officially started until our favorite bell ringers return to their posts.