The Bizarre World of Florida

Robber stole cash from grocery store, but felt real bad about it November 20, 2014

Filed under: Controversy,Dumb,Funny,Robbers,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:28 pm

an who stole hundreds of dollars from a Pompano Beach grocery store apologized to a cashier before grabbing the money and running out the front door, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

The man placed a newspaper down in front of the cashier and then walked around to the grocery bagging area, where sfl-apologetic-robbery-photo-1-20141118he picked up another newspaper and added it to his purchase. As the cashier rang up the items, the man slowly inched closer to the register before handing the cashier money for his purchase.

When the cashier opened the cash drawer, the man said, “I’m sorry I have to do this,” according to the Sheriff’s Office. He then reached into the drawer, grabbed the money and quickly ran out the front door.

The suspected thief is described as a white male in his forties, wearing a black short-sleeve T-shirt, baggy gray shorts, white socks, black sneakers, a backpack and a beige or khaki bucket hat, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities ask anyone with information about the robbery to call Broward Sheriff’s Office Detective Latanya Phillips at 954-786-4256 or Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477.


Man hired to fill ATMS instead swiped the cash

Filed under: Robbers,Fraud,Bizzarre,Really Dumb,WTF?,Amazing,Dumb — floridaduh @ 2:21 pm

A Palm Coast man who worked with his father filling ATMs with cash is on the run after police said he started stealing from the very machines he replenished.

UntitledAccording to Daytona Beach police investigators, 36-year-old Justin Arthur Smith stole $6,500 from ATMs at two bars on Main Street between Halloween and Nov. 2. Police said Smith also took cash from two other ATMs in Holly Hill and Flagler County.

Smith and his father, Kenneth Smith, both work for Money Tree based in Fort Walton Beach, police said. They refill ATMs with cash.

On Nov. 3 when Kenneth Smith went to Dirty Harry’s and Froggy’s Saloon he said that the ATMs were empty, according to an incident report. Employees at both businesses told him that the other ATM man had refilled the machines.

Kenneth Smith, knowing they were talking about his son, reported the thefts, police said.

Kenneth Smith told investigators he had been working with his son, but recently the pair had a falling out, the report states. Kenneth Smith told police his son had the keys and combinations to all the ATMs and that he would have to change the locks and the combinations on the machines, the report states.

Court records show Justin Smith was sentenced to jail for felony drug possession in 2001 and probation for similar charges in 2003. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Monica Lee at leem@dbpd.us or by calling 386-671-5212.


Sleeping on the job? Man found dozing in stolen car

Filed under: Robbers,Bizzarre,Bad Luck,WTF?,Dumb — floridaduh @ 2:17 pm

Marion County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 22-year-old man found sleeping in a stolen car at a senior housing complex Monday.

sfl-flduh-dozing-stolen-car-20141119-001Shortly before 6 a.m., two deputies went to the Pacifica Senior Living complex at 11311 SW 95th Circle, Ocala, after a report of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. One deputy found the man, later identified as Stephen Carroll Steen, asleep in the driver’s seat of a black 2013 Volkswagen Passat.

The deputy woke him up and asked why he was sleeping in the car. Steen told the deputy he had just dropped his girlfriend off at work and was waiting for her.

Steen was unable to tell the deputy his girlfriend’s name, the report states. As for the car, its owner, who lives in Ocoee, had reported it stolen on Nov. 15.

Steen was arrested on grand theft of a motor vehicle.


Deputy jailed; accused of stealing DVD on job November 17, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Dumb,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,Stupid,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:26 pm

A Polk County deputy sheriff was charged with stealing a DVD while responding to a convenience-store burglary Nov. 6, a spokeswoman said.

sfl-flduh-stealing-dvd-job-20141115-001Ernesto McCloud, 28, resigned after his arrest, sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Horstman said. He had been a deputy sheriff since May 2013 and spent about three years before that as a Polk County detention deputy, she said.

“Ernesto McCloud said it best himself: He threw away a career for a $10 DVD,” Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Davenport police were investigating a burglary at Mystic Convenience Store on U.S. Highway 17 on Nov. 6 when McCloud arrived to help, according to an arrest affidavit. Security video showed McCloud walk behind the counter and pick things off the floor, records show. He picked up a DVD and put it behind his notepad, then tucked it into his uniform shirt, according to the affidavit. He later told investigators he took the DVD because he had not seen the movie. Horstman said she did not know what DVD McCloud is accused of stealing. McCloud was charged with petty theft and armed burglary — the weapon being the department-issued firearm he was carrying.


Witness come forward in pizza delivery robbery … oh wait .. he’s the robber? November 14, 2014

Filed under: Dumb,Florida Nut,Fraud,OK Then .....,Really Dumb,Robbers,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:57 pm

West Boca man accused of robbing a pizza delivery man tried to come forward as a witness and accused his cousin of being the assailant, according to a Palm Beach County sheriff’s arrest report.

fl-west-boca-pizza-hut-delivery-robbery-201411-001Joseph Wantz, 26, faces charges of robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm after the robbery on Tuesday.

The Pizza Hut delivery man of two years said he went to a home in the 11000 block of Watergate Circle on 10:30 p.m. after getting an order for $107 worth of pizza, bread sticks and soda.

The caller said the food was for a party and then another phone call from another number had a woman asking the driver to bring cash for change, according to the report.

But when the driver got there, he told a deputy he grew suspicious when he saw no cluster of cars for a party. That’s when Wantz put a gun to the delivery man’s head and demanded all the money and food before walking away, according to the report.

A deputy said he learned two people had stepped forward as witnesses. One of them was Wantz, who told the deputies he saw the robbery and that his cousin did it, according to the report.

As deputies, they got a call on Wednesday about a disturbance between Wantz and another man at a residence. Inside the home, deputies said they saw two empty pizza boxes in the trash.

After the delivery man identified Wantz in a photo lineup as the robber, investigators questioned a friend of Wantz’s. She said Wantz came up to her at about 1 a.m. Wednesday and showed her a gun and told her he did a “lick,” or robbery.

Deputies said the gun later was found to be a BB gun.

When deputies questioned Wantz, he implicating his cousin in the robbery, the report said. He said his cousin looked similar to him. He went on to say he wasn’t “the only one going down for this,” according to the report.

Wantz was booked into Palm Beach County Jail, where he was held without bail.


Armed robbers drag victims through store, order them to remove pants November 13, 2014

Filed under: Abuse,Amazing,Bizzarre,Controversy,Robbers,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:37 pm

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies are searching for two armed robbers who stormed into a Rite Way Food Market in Pompano Beach and forced the victims to remove their pants Sunday night.

ROBBERY-2-jpgThe robbery is very similar to at least a half-dozen cases throughout Broward County in which two masked men wearing gloves robbed businesses at gunpoint and forced their victims to remove their clothing while they flee the scene.

In the latest case, two men entered the market, and one jumped over the counter and forced a clerk to the ground while holding a gun at his back. Deputies said the second man locked the front door and ordered a customer to lie facedown on the ground before dragging him toward the back of the store.

Deputies said the robbers then ordered both of the victims to take off their pants while they ran from the store with an undisclosed amount of valuables.

Another similar robbery happened Oct. 28 at a Subway restaurant in Tamarac.

Surveillance video from the business showed two masked men, who were wearing gloves, enter the restaurant at about 10:30 p.m. through a side door.

One of the robbers pressed a handgun to an employee’s cheek while the other robber told another employee to give them the money from the cash register.

After taking the money, the robbers ordered the victims to the back of the store and told them to take off their clothes.

On Oct. 31, a Pick & Go convenience store was also robbed.

The men, who were again wearing masks and gloves, went inside the store and demanded money from an employee. That victim was also ordered to remove his clothes and was struck with a gun.

Deputies said the men ransacked the business and shot the victim in the leg because they felt he was lying and hiding the money.

Anyone with information about any of these robberies is urged to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.


Here’s a rule of thumb for hitchhikers: Visit another state if you’re wanted here

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Dumb,Florida Nut,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:32 pm

A wanted Florida man toting his two cats while he hitchhiked made a poor choice when he flagged down a car in Georgia.

The driver of the car who picked up the hitchhiker had stolen the car and was traveling south from Michigan, officials said. Later in the journey on Tuesday the hitchhiker got the fright of his life when the driver fled from a Daytona Beach police traffic stop, Volusia County sheriff’s deputies said.

UntitledScott Rogers, 29, of Winter Park, told hitchhiker Joseph Stephens, 20, of Punta Gorda, that the car belonged to his aunt, so Stevens and his cats boarded the black Ford Focus and went along with Rogers to Florida, according to a sheriff’s report.

A Daytona Beach police sergeant spotted the car just afternoon Tuesday and ran the Michigan plates. The information returned was that the car was reported stolen out of Novi, Michigan, so the sergeant and pulled it over. His weapon drawn during the stop at Indigo Drive and West International Speedway Boulevard, the sergeant approached Rogers, who had “a unique hairstyle,” but Rogers sped away and got on Interstate 4 at speeds of up to 100 mph, a Daytona Beach police report states.

An alert was sent out to surrounding law enforcement agencies and a sheriff’s captain later spotted the black four-door eastbound on State Road 44. The captain followed it until backup deputies arrived and made a traffic stop on State Road 44 just west of Interstate 95.

That’s when deputies assisted by New Smyrna Beach police found a scared Stephens in the car, reports state.

Stephens said the ride was going as normal until Rogers fled Daytona Beach police. Stephens said he pleaded to Rogers to let him out but Rogers refused, deputies said.

The two cats were found in the car and were turned over to Volusia County Animal Services after deputies discovered Stephens was wanted in Charlotte County for missing court on misdemeanor theft charges. Stephens was then arrested.

Rogers told deputies he refused to let Stephens out of the car because they were so close to their destination, reports state.

Rogers who ranted about “suicide by cop” to deputies, said he was mentally unstable and that had been unable to get his prescription medication during his trip, deputies said.

He said his passenger may have helped the situation.

“If Joe wasn’t with me I would have made you guys shoot me,” investigators said Rogers told them.

Rogers was in the Volusia County Branch Jail on Wednesday on charges of grand theft, false imprisonment and fleeing and eluding. He was held on $42,500 bail. Stephens was being held Wednesday on $12,000 bail, records show.

The owner of the car, Alexander Demitry, said his car was stolen Friday. Rogers lived with Demitry for a month after friend of Demitry’s, who was also a friend of Rogers, asked Demitry to take in Rogers.

“I take it kind of personal you know,” Demitry said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “He was here eating my food and drinking my beer and after I tell him it’s time to move on, I woke up and I find my car is gone.”



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