The Bizarre World of Florida

State worker fraudulently put nearly $23K into inmates’ accounts, including her hubby’s April 17, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Dumb,Fraud,Robbers,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 6:50 pm

sfl-flduh-inmates-accounts-hubbys-20140416-001An inmate serving time in Polk County and his wife in Orlando transferred more than $20,000 from stolen credit cards into prisoner trust fund accounts, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

After Tamika Teague, 34, deposited the money her husband Ronald Teague, 34, sent her nearly $15,000 from the state Department of Corrections check system, according to FDLE.

The couple were arrested Tuesday on charges of grand theft.

Tamika Teague, a state Department of Health employee, remains held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. Her husband is an inmate at the Polk Correctional Institution.

Ronald Teague is serving five years for child abuse, child neglect and fleeing and eluding police. He previously served two terms for armed robbery and carrying a concealed firearm, according to state prison records.

An FDLE spokesman declined to comment on when prison officials discovered the multiple deposits into 36 inmates’ trust accounts. The investigation remains open.

According to a press release, Tamika Teague of Regal Oak Circle took part in 115 transactions using 25 stolen credit card numbers to deposit $22,735 into the prisoners’ accounts. Of those, her husband is charged with receiving $7,000 plus $900 in fraudulent payments to this inmate telephone account.

The case is being handled by the attorney general’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.


If you’re going to burglarize a business, it’s probably best not to follow them on Instagram April 16, 2014

A Boca Raton e-cigarette burglar was “immediately” identified when the victim told police the suspect follows his business on Instagram, according to a Boca Raton Police arrest report.

An owner of Florida E-cigs and Vapes at 281 N. Dixie Highway, watched surveillance video of a burglar throwing a brick through the front door and stealing about $2,000 worth of e-cigarettes and juice used in the cigarettes on Sunday.

fl-boca-instagram-burglar-20140415-001The owner said he recognized the burglar as Tanner Bradshaw, 18, of Boca Raton, a regular customer and one of nearly 350 followers the business has on Instagram, according to the report.

A photo of Bradshaw’s driver’s license is one of 80 photos on his Instagram account.

Police found Bradshaw on Monday at about 5 p.m. near Palmetto Park Road and Southwest Third Street with products stolen from Florida E-Cigarettes.

Bradshaw told police he has a narcotics addiction and is remorseful, according to the report.

He faces burglary and grand theft charges and remains in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $6,000 bail.


Victoria’s Secret? Stealing credit card information

os-alexander-sundeman-sanchez-picture-20140415A clerk at an Orlando Victoria’s Secret outlet store used a skimmer to steal tourists’ credit-card information and then sell it, federal prosecutors allege.

Between Nov. 29 and April 3, the woman hid the skimmer under her skirt at Orlando Premium Outlets on International Drive and swiped customers’ cards before running them through the cash register, according to court documents.

The woman, whose name is not revealed in court documents, was paid $500 whenever a felon named Alexander Sundeman Sanchez, downloaded card numbers from the device, records show.

“I forgot to tell u i really only want foreigners and tourists,” Sanchez texted the woman, according to court documents.

Sanchez, 29, picked up the skimmer once a week for several months, records state. When he moved to Tampa, Neftali Oquendo, 27, of Orlando began retrieving it, documents state.

Both men were arrested last week on fraud charges.

A confidential source told the U.S. Attorney’s Office about the operation. The U.S. Secret Service investigated.

Sanchez in March was sentenced to two years’ probation for gun, marijuana and drug-paraphernalia convictions.

Oquendo was convicted in 2008 of petty theft.


Looks like the grape escape from the grocer didn’t last long April 15, 2014

A woman accused of walking into a Publix with no pants on and walking out with two stolen boxes of wine has been caught, police said.

See the video

sfl-flduh-pantless-vino-thief-20140414-001Desiree Taylor, 35, was arrested Monday morning at her apartment by Ocala police.

Taylor entered the store on College Road and grabbed the two boxes of wine, worth about $42, and left.

Authorities said the store manager tried to stop Taylor from stealing the wine, but she started swinging her arms wildly and fled.

Taylor was arrested on March 2 on charges including battery on a firefighter or emergency medical technician and resisting an officer.

Authorities said those charges stemmed from an incident in which Taylor was acting strangely and screaming profanities at an apartment complex pool and resisting officers and firefighters when they came to check on her well-being.


Vampires, nudists, snakes: Nobody does wacky like Florida April 7, 2014


By: Scott Maxwell

Last week, news broke that a congressional candidate in Gainesville had a secret pastime: impersonating vampires. And superheroes.

Some people would call this nutty.

In Florida, we just call it Tuesday.

Seriously, that’s not even our highest-profile vampire story. Remember the “vampire killings” from Lake County?

Some of our stories are heartbreakingly tragic. But so many are also mind-numbingly strange.

In Florida, we do weird the way Kansas does wheat.

Here, giant pet snakes escape. And breed. And then invade our national parks.

We have fish that eat people, alligators that eat people and people who eat people.

Two years ago, when news of the “cannibal attack” broke, the nation let out a collective gasp … until learning it was Miami. Then it all made sense.

We have killer amoebas, hanging chads and diaper-wearing astronauts. (All of which would make awesome rock-band names, by the way.)

We have a town named Christmas … where it never snows. We have the world’s smallest post office and a couple trying to build America’s largest house.

I used to think Florida attracted wacky people. Now I think it creates them.

Take my grandfather, for example.

Early in his life, he was a NASA engineer in Virginia — and as strait-laced and buttoned-down as they came. His passions were photography and crossword puzzles.

Then he moved to Florida. After Grandma died, we worried that our sober and contemplative grandfather would become listless and uninspired.

He became neither of those things. Instead, he became a nudist. (Lending more credence to the notion that it’s never the people you want to see naked at a nudist resort.)

At first, we were all: What the heck, Granddad?

But you know what? He found new life and inspiration. He’d travel down Interstate4 from Ormond Beach to Cypress Cove, where he’d pay strict adherence to the two main rules: Never take pictures, and always place a towel on the bar stool before you sit down.

Florida liberated him. And he spent the remaining, widowed years of his life happy. So you go, Granddad.

By the way, nudity is another one of our weird themes.

•”Nude man found dead on killer whale’s back”

•”Florida Lotto winner seeks to open a nude dude ranch”

•”Blind woman sues nudist colony over heavy dog”

Florida newspapers carry such headlines the way other papers carry horoscopes.

Some of that is understandable. It’s hot down here.

And I don’t mean happy, sand-at-your-toes, wind-in-your-hair hot. I mean sweaty-thighs-stuck-to-your-car-seats, armpit-stains-like-dinner-plates hot. It’s enough to make anyone nutty. And naked.

But it cuts both ways. When it’s hot, it makes us crazy. When it’s pleasant, we attract other states’ crazies. I mean, if it’s January and you’re already planning to run a scam, con or heist, would you rather do it in Buffalo or Boynton Beach?

This state is also lousy with newspapers and TV stations, meaning we have more ink-stained wretches and blow-dried broadcasters than your average state to tell all the weird stories.

Finally, there’s our melting-pot effect.

You simply can’t throw so many different cultures together and not expect some fireworks.

But you know what? That is also part of what makes this state so splendidly unique.

We have character and texture — a bouillabaisse of native and newcomer, sinner and saint, scholar and simpleton.

It’s a fusion that produces a weeklong bacchanalia in Key West and pioneering medical research at the Burnham Institute.

It’s the reason Orlando can turn out just as many people for a Veterans Day parade as it does for Come Out With Pride.

And it explains how a mild-mannered rocket engineer can feel inspired to start a new life by ditching his pocket protector — along with everything else he’s wearing.

And, yes, it’s also how we end up with some of the wackiest politicians in America — including a vampire-impersonating, superhero-mimicking, punk-rock lawyer running for Congress.

Just what we need … another lawyer in Congress.


Brazen robber tricks Bradenton clerk out of $50 bill

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Dumb,Fraud,Funny,OK Then .....,Robbers,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:46 pm

Police are looking for a man who came up with a creative way to steal cash from a liquor store clerk.

533f0a36cfa47_preview-300It happened around 2pm Friday at the Winn Dixie Liquor store on Cortez Road West at 26th Street in Bradenton.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect approached the clerk and explained that he and a friend had a disagreement about the new $50 bills and needed a picture of one.

He asked the clerk to hold on up while he took a photo.  The suspect pretended to take a picture but then snatched the bills from the clerk’s hand and ran from the store.

The suspect was last seen fleeing into the Orange Grove Mobile Home Park across the street.

He is described as a Hispanic male approximately 28-32 years old, 5″ 11″ tall, 160-170 pounds, with black hair and a medium build.


Cheapo bandito? Man broke into car, spent less than $3 on stolen credit cards April 4, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Florida Nut,Fraud,Funny,Interesting,Robbers,Silly,WTF? — floridaduh @ 4:21 pm

sfl-flduh-spent-stolen-credit-cards-20140403-001A Boca Raton burglar kept a tight budget after breaking into a car to steal a man’s wallet, using the credit cards to buy items totaling $2.74, according to a Boca Raton Police Department arrest report.

Police said Wolfgang Schneider, 21, broke into a 2006 Volkswagen Passat sometime between March 4 and March 7 and made off with a man’s Louis Vuitton wallet.

The victim told police his Nordstrom Visa card was used March 7 at the Publix Supermarket at 1339 W. Palmetto Park Road for a $1.69 purchase. Then used the same day for a $1.05 purchase at the Walgreen’s at 21324 St. Andrews Blvd.

Police walked into the Archstone Community leasing office in the victim’s neighborhood on March 19 and discovered the suspect lives nearby as an unauthorized tenant.

Schneider was tracked down on April 1 and arrested after telling police he used the cards, according to the report.

He faces burglary, fraud and theft charges and remains in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $9,000 bail.


Accused adult store bandit used cardboard stick-up note … hey, he was recycling

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dumb,Florida Nut,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,Silly,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 4:17 pm

The man who robbed an adult store in Fort Myers on March 20th made a few practice runs before the crime, according to police – each time using the same cardboard note.

sfl-flduh-adult-store-clerk-20140403-001It all started at the Dollar General at 3134 Cleveland Avenue.

Officers got a call saying a man, later identified as 35-year-old Joshua David Hess, came in demanding cash with his cardboard note, but then said it was a joke.

Witnesses said Hess told the cashier that he was filming a prank for YouTube and left.

His next stop was down the road at the Mangia Bene restaurant. Witnesses say a man came into the eatery demanding cash, again with the help of his cardboard note.

When an employee told him she couldn’t get into the drawer, Hess told her to find someone who could. As she walked away to get the manager, Hess left and went next door to the adult store.

Police say Hess walked into Use Your Imagination Too just before 5 p.m.

He passed the cashier the well-traveled note, which read, “Give me all you got.”

The cashier laughed and thought Hess was joking. But this time, Hess wasn’t leaving without cash.

Police say he told the cashier he was serious and tightened his shirt around his waist to show her the outline of a handgun.

Still, the cashier refused and tried to spray Hess with pepper spray – but the can was empty.

After demanding cash again, Police say Hess got away with $163. Witnesses say he walked westbound onto Coronado Street.

Police pieced the three robberies together and went though surveillance from one of the stores.

Detectives identified Hess thanks to several anonymous tips.

Hess was arrested and charged with three counts of robbery.


The dumb just keep getting dumber .. Man arrested for staging robbery to avoid going to work April 2, 2014

Filed under: Dumb,Florida Nut,Fraud,Funny,Interesting,OK Then .....,Really Dumb,WTF? — floridaduh @ 8:26 pm

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” it wasn’t.

untitledA man is accused of staging a burglary to get out of work Monday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to deputies, they arrived approximately 7:25 a.m, at 1037 Bridlewood Way, Brandon, after resident Dwayne Yeager, 31, called the sheriff’s non-emergency line and reported he just came home and discovered his house had been broken into. He also claimed he spotted a vehicle drive away from his residence as he was returning.

Deputies found the front door open, the interior of the house appeared to have been ransacked and the front bedroom window and blinds were open. They did not discover any signs of forced entry, however.

While talking to neighbors, they learned from a source that Yeager was seen leaving the residence at 6:30 a.m. and returning home at 7:15 a.m. He was seen walking in the front door and lifting the blinds and opening the front bedroom window. Yeager came back outside his home was seen standing in the front yard until deputies arrived, the source said.

The source also indicated there was no vehicle at the house prior to his arrival home or when Yeager arrived home.

Deputies confronted Yeager, who admitted he staged the burglary to avoid having to go to work. He stated his wife was adamant that he go to work and he didn’t want to, deputies said.

Deputies said he told them he didn’t think he could go to jail for doing this.

Yeager was arrested and taken to Orient Road Jail.


Hard-boiled bandit poached rig with 180,000 eggs

Filed under: Fraud,Robbers,Sad Story,WTF? — floridaduh @ 8:09 pm

25124255_BG1Lee County deputies say someone stole an 80-foot semi-truck carrying nearly 200,000 eggs over the weekend.

“That’s one helluva (sic) omelet,” giggled John Dube, who lives in Fort Myers.

For a truck driver and his family, this is no laughing matter.

“It’s fairly new. It’s not a run down, worn out, piece of equipment. It is worth a lot of money,” said Angie Carlisle, whose husband’s semi-truck and trailer was stolen from a south Fort Myers 7-Eleven Saturday night.

“What they took was part of our livelihood, and the folks that run this company, their livelihood,” said Carlisle.

Carlisle said her husband, Joe, had been parking his semi-truck and trailer behind the 7-Eleven for the last five months.

While he was just a mile down the road at his Fort Myers home, someone hopped in his rig and took off – stealing close to 200,000 eggs along with it.

“While there’s no rig, there’s no loads to run, there’s no income,” Carlisle said.

“He feels responsible, even though it’s not his fault. Just kind of stunned at the moment. He’s just stunned,” Angie said.

There were no cameras behind the 7-Eleven to capture the crook. The truck cost close to $250,000.

“I would check Miami, because I’ve had people that have had stolen trucks and things and they end up in Miami,” said Dube.

Carlisle says Monday morning someone said they spotted the truck at a toll way on Alligator Alley.

If you have any information about the truck, call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000.



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