The Bizarre World of Florida

Mom, dad and girlfriend turn in suspected ATM bandit October 23, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Controversy,Florida Nut,Robbers,WTF? — floridaduh @ 12:50 pm

Saying it was simply ‘the right thing to do,’ police say the girlfriend, mother and father of a West Melbourne man told detectives he was the hammer-wielding robber captured on surveillance photographs choking a 20-year-old woman at an ATM machine Monday evening.

sfl-flduh-girlfriend-atm-bandit-20141022-001Police charged 44-year-old Scott Patrick Deason with armed robbery and false imprisonment after family members spotted the photographs released to the media and tipped off detectives.

“The girlfriend called and the parents confirmed it was their son. It was very quick,” said Lt. Richard Cordeau.

“The suspect was asleep in the bedroom at the time. When they saw the photos, they decided to call. They just felt like it was the right thing to do. The girlfriend did express some remorse to the victim,” Cordeau said. Deason was uncooperative.

The robbery happened about 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Bank of America at 3003 W. New Haven Ave, prompting a countrywide search and even unfounded reports of man being seen as far away as Cocoa.

Police said Deason demanded the woman withdraw a large amount of cash and “threatened harm if she did not comply.” The woman, who has declined to be interviewed, started the panic alarm on her nearby car and the suspect fled. “He did not get any money,” said Cordeau of the West Melbourne Police Department. “The victim is physically okay but understandably upset. As he fled on foot she saw what looked like a hammer in his hands,” Cordeau said.

Police later released surveillance photos hoping the public might help identify him. It was those clear photos showing the robbers uncovered face that moved his mother, father and girlfriend to call 9-1-1 to report Deason as a possible suspect in the case. So far police do not have a motive for the failed robbery.

Deason was arrested at his home and taken to the West Melbourne Police Department for questioning. Police also added that residents should continue to be on the alert about their surroundings.

“As always, you should be vigilant about where you are. Fortunately in this case, the victim was able to activate the panic alarm on her vehicle…we believe that’s why he fled,” said Cordeau.


Cosmetic surgery fraudster gets 20 years for IRS scam

Filed under: Controversy,Disgusting,Disrespectful,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,WTF? — floridaduh @ 12:48 pm

A Clermont woman who spent $4 million from fraudulent income-tax returns on cosmetic surgeries, luxury cars and an Orlando restaurant was recently sentenced to federal prison.

sfl-flduh-cosmetic-surgery-scam-20141022-001Orlando-based U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. sentenced Tanya Fox to 20 years behind bars for conspiracy, five counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of theft of government property and 10 counts of aggravated identity theft, authorities announced Wednesday.

Fox, who was found guilty of the charges in July, was immediately taken into custody.

She spent money from fraudulent tax returns to purchase a BMW 7 Series, an Infiniti M35, a Chrysler Crossfire and a Volkswagen Beetle, according to testimony.

The government seized those vehicles.

But another vehicle, a Maserati, was repossessed before it could be seized.

“Fox also used the proceeds from these offenses to have cosmetic surgery on two occasions and open a restaurant in the Orlando area,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Details about those surgeries and the location of that restaurant were not released.

The government alleges that Fox, between January 2010 and June 2013, opened bank accounts in the name of false tax-preparation businesses and used other people to help withdraw fraudulently obtained tax-return money.

Fox used the Social Security numbers, dates of birth and names of patients at the health department to file the returns and obtain nearly $4.1 million.


Semi with 44,000-lbs. of Miller High Life beer swiped October 22, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Controversy,Robbers,Sad Story,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:19 pm

A truck driver broke down in tears on Tuesday while telling Channel 9 about the thieves who drove off with his semi full of beer from an Orange County truck stop.

sfl-flduh-miller-high-life-beer-20141021-001The victim’s truck and at least one other were swiped Monday from a truck stop on South Orange Blossom Trail.

Van Thomas was trying to live the American dream. After years as a trucker, he bought a semi three weeks ago and made a company of his own.

Thomas was traveling from Texas to Pompano Beach and was on his last stop before a delivery in Orlando when his entire truck and alcohol cargo was stolen.

“I don’t mean to cry about it but I’m just trying to do the best I can and make a better life,” Thomas told WFTV.

Inside the truck was 44,000 pounds of Miller High Life, which comes out to about 9,700 four-packs.

“It’s just so devastating to me,” said Thomas.

It’s not the first time a semi has been stolen in Florida. About 180,000 eggs were stolen earlier this year in Fort Myers. A truck with Hershey chocolate was also stolen in December in Volusia County, and a truck with Slimfast was swiped near downtown Orlando.

Just when Thomas thought he lost everything, he received a phone call telling him the truck and most of the cargo had been located.

“Oh, my God. That’s beautiful,” he said.

The call came in from detectives that the truck had been found in Miami.

There’s no word on whether the robbers knew “The Champagne of Beers” was inside at the time of the theft. Detectives are still trying to figure out who stole the two trucks and if they are part of a bigger ring.


Boy, 13, stopped on I-75 driving a front end loader October 21, 2014

A 13-year-old boy was stopped Sunday on Interstate 75 while driving a front-end loader, reportedly in an attempt to travel to Fort Lauderdale.

sfl-flduh-front-end-loader-20141020-001According to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office report, the boy said he ran away from home Sunday morning and was looking for a vehicle he could take to South Florida so he could meet with a friend.

He came upon Magnum Construction at 4202 NW 27th Ave., Ocala, and saw a Mack truck, but could not find the keys. After searching the office, the boy got on one of the front-end loaders parked on the lot and started the vehicle. He drove through the locked front gate and headed down U.S. 27 until he got to the north entrance of I-75, according to the report.

The boy made it about three miles on the busy highway before he was stopped by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper.

The front-end loader was recovered by the owner. The piece of equipment was not damaged and no one was injured.

The boy was charged with commercial burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief. He was taken to the juvenile detention area at the Sheriff’s Office.


Man swiped toilet parts from fast food restaurants October 20, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Dumb,Florida Nut,Interesting,Really Dumb,Robbers,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:06 pm

Police have arrested a man they say destroyed toilets in fast-food restaurants across the city as part of a metal recycling scheme.

sfl-flduh-toilet-parts-fast-food-20141017-001Brian Rinda, 28, allegedly stole flushing handles and pipes, then traded the brass parts for between $36 and $40 at the county recycling center. Sometimes he would cause as much as $1,000 in damage when he broke the toilets, according to St. Petersburg police reports.

Authorities suspect Rinda in thefts from numerous locations in St. Petersburg, including Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Publix, Subway, Cracker Barrel and Bob Evans restaurants and Albert Whitted Park.

Detectives used records from the recycling center and surveillance video from the restaurants to identify Rinda, police said. He faces nine counts of theft.


Meet market? Man accused of stuffing sausage down his pants October 16, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Dumb,Florida Nut,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,WTF? — floridaduh @ 4:07 pm

A 42-year-old Fort Walton Beach man is accused of hiding a pack of sausages in his pants.

sfl-flduh-stuffing-sausage-pants-20141015-001Fort Walton Beach Police officers were called for the theft on Oct. 7, according to the arrest report. Two managers at Publix Supermarket reported seeing James Michael Patterson take a pack of sausages from the shelf, walk to another aisle and “shove the package down his pants.”

Patterson had previously been trespassed from Publix on Oct. 3, the report said. One of the managers recognized him and called police before the theft for the trespassing.

The managers said that after Patterson concealed the sausages, he continued walking through the store, according to the report. When officers located Patterson, he was carrying a case of soda.

He was detained and officers located the sausages package in his pants, the report said. Patterson said “he was just hungry and wanted food.”

He is charged with shoplifting and trespassing.


What would thieves do with 18 tons of Crisco? October 13, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Really Dumb,Robbers,Silly,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 9:18 pm

St. Petersburg police are dealing with that question as they search for the people responsible for stealing a tractor-trailer loaded with about 36,000 pounds of the vegetable shortening.

DIY-Crisco-Candle-1The rig was reported stolen Sunday morning from Coastal Towing, 2390 118th Ave. N., police said.

In additon, another tractor-trailer filled with boxes from Amazon’s Ruskin distribution center had been burglarized, police said. A number of boxes were opened and the contents taken.

The Crisco sticks were to be delivered to the Publix distribution center in Lakeland, police said.

The stolen cab was a 2005 red Volvo with “NS Express LLC, Bowling Green, KY 42104” written on both sides, with Florida tag 52393P. The trailer was a white Hyundai with Florida tag 4450PP.

Police don’t know yet what items were taken from the Amazon boxes.

Anyone with information should call St. Petersburg police.



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