The Bizarre World of Florida

Meth-making operation exposed when suspect butt-dialed cops October 10, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Dumb,Stupid,Uncategorized,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:24 pm
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Sometimes, good detective work and weeks of investigation are needed to nab suspected criminals. But other times all investigators need is 30 minutes to listen in on an accidental pocket dial to a 911 dispatch center.

That’s the reason 55-year-old Donna Knope, 32-year-old Jason Knope and 41-year-old Thomas Stallings spent their weekend in the Volusia County Branch Jail on drug charges.


According to Volusia County deputies, one member of the trio accidentally dialed 911 about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. When the dispatcher answered and tried to get details about the potential emergency, there was no response.

Instead, she overheard a discussion about drugs.

Deputies say the dispatcher kept the line open and fed details to investigators from the three who were unknowingly being recorded. At one point, the dispatcher reported hearing bubbling noises as if something was cooking.

Using cell phone locater data, deputies tracked the origin of the call to a shed behind a home in the 3200 block of Roland Drive where Donna and Jason Knope lived.

When deputies arrived, the three were actively cooking a batch of methamphetamine, investigators say. Also found were many of the household items after found in meth labs like lighter fluid, coffee filters, a butane torch and batteries.

All three face charges of manufacturing and possession of meth. Stallings also faces charges of violating probation after a previous robbery conviction.


DUI suspect told deputies she was about to down another beer

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridaduh @ 2:20 pm
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A Belleview driver was arrested on DUI and marijuana possession charges Tuesday night after sheriff’s deputies say she admitted drinking a half dozen beers and smoking marijuana cigarettes.

sfl-flduh-dui-another-beer-20141008-001Nichole R. Sommers, 33, had two children, ages 9 and 11, in the vehicle shortly before 8:30 p.m., when Deputy William P. Blair II pulled her over in the 4000 block of South Pine Avenue, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

She was stopped for not having two working tail lights.

Sommers told Deputy Joshua Driver, who assisted his colleague, that she was about to drink another beer when she was pulled over, the report states.

Deputies said her face was flushed, her eyes were bloodshot and watery, and her breath smelled of alcohol. Sommers agreed to participate in a field sobriety exercise, which she failed, according to the report.

Inside her 2002 Toyota Corolla, deputies reported finding a dozen partially smoked marijuana cigarettes in an ashtray in the center console and two 16 ounce beer cans on the backseat floorboard. She told them the marijuana cigarettes were hers.

Before Sommers was taken to the Marion County Jail, someone went to the scene and picked up the children. The Department of Children and Families was notified.

At the jail, a breath test registered blood alcohol levels of .189 and .205, according to the report. The threshold in Florida at which a driver is presumed to be impaired is .08.


On the wrong track: Thieves thwarted by stolen e-decoy device

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridaduh @ 2:18 pm
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What appeared to be a sophisticated burglary of more than $30,000 worth of cellphones and tablets ended in a blunder for two burglars, authorities say.

sfl-flduh-thieves-stolen-decoy-20141009-001The two men sawed their way into a Greenacres cellphone store, stole more than 90 devices and vanished in their getaway car. What they likely didn’t know: One of the devices they had just stolen — made to resemble a cellphone — was a decoy equipped with GPS.
The device allowed officers to track the thieves’ movements as they drove across town. Greenacres police learned the suspects’ exact location, pulled their car over and arrested them, police said.

Police said the burglary started on the roof of the AT&T Prime Communications Cellular Store at 6748 Forest Hill Blvd.

That’s where police said the two men — Gennier Perez-Gonzalez, 32, of West Palm Beach, and Osniel Labrada-Guillen, 29, of Miami Gardens — used a power tool to cut their way into the business about 3:30 a.m.

A security company called police when the decoy had its alarm triggered. The decoy was being monitored remotely by the company, allowing an officer to learn where the device was headed.

The suspects’ car traveled north on Jog Road before turning east on Forest Hill Boulevard. The officer was told the device was passing him as he watched a lone vehicle go by and turn onto the southbound entrance ramp to Interstate 95.

Two officers then got the driver of the car to pull over to the shoulder between Lantana Road and Hypoluxo Road.

When the car stopped, the device indicated to the security company that it, too, had come to a rest. That helped confirm that the device was inside the suspects’ vehicle, according to the report.
Nine iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy 5 boxes were seen in the back seat of the car. When an officer opened the trunk, he said, he found 88 devices — along with the decoy device.

A security video system recorder, an angle grinder with a blade and other tools also were found in the trunk, according to the report.

Police described the men as sweating profusely, nervous and covered in debris, as if they had recently cut something with a metal disc. A total of 98 devices valued at $34,869 were found in the car, police said.

Both men face charges of burglary, larceny, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tool. Perez-Gonzalez was held in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $110,000 bail. And Labrada-Guillen was held in lieu of $86,000 bail.


Sleepless and sexless in Sebastian

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridaduh @ 2:08 pm
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Kristina Davis told deputies she was grumpy because her boyfriend had not had sex with her in a “long time.”
sfl-flduh-sexless-in-20141009-001What could be called the case of the frustrated female began about 12:06 a.m. Sept. 27 when a deputy went to an address on 83rd Avenue in Sebastian, according to a recently released arrest affidavit.Her mood likely did not improve when Indian River County Sheriff’s deputies took her to jail on a misdemeanor resisting arrest without violence charge.
When investigators asked Davis what happened, she reported being “pissed off because her boyfriend had not (had sex with) her in a long time,” the affidavit states.The man who called authorities — Davis’ boyfriend — said Davis, 48, was “extremely intoxicated” and trying to fight him.

A specific amount of time was not mentioned.

Davis slurred her words, smelled of booze and had a tough time completing a sentence.

A deputy tried to determine whether she had another place to go for the night.

“Before she began to answer my question, Davis once again began to talk about her sex life,” the affidavit states. “After attempting to refocus Davis on the matters at hand, I told her I would be right back.”

Davis slapped the deputy on the shoulder, apologizing and saying it was a form of endearment.

Davis, of the 13300 block of 83rd Avenue in Sebastian, was arrested after investigators say she didn’t follow instructions to stay in her home when they spoke to her boyfriend and didn’t stop when they told her to.


Man said he wasn’t swiping bike, just hiding it October 7, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridaduh @ 9:28 pm
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A 53-year-old man is accused of trespassing after allegedly attempting to steal a restaurant employee’s bicycle.

sflduh-swiping-bike-hiding-it-20141004-001Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies were called on Sept. 23, according to the arrest report. Roy Ronald Rowell, Jr. was allegedly seen taking an employee’s bicycle and walking through the parking lot with it.

When employees of the restaurant confronted Rowell, he said that he was “going to hide it so it would not get stolen,” the report said. Rowell had been given a trespass warning on Aug. 11 after allegedly harassing customers.

He’s charged with failing to leave property upon an order by the owner.


Shoplifter dressed as security guard, used special device

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridaduh @ 9:26 pm
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Dressed as a security guard and drawing little attention, Anthony Burcks approached the electronics department at Wal-Mart. From inside his pocket, police said, he produced a small, rectangle-shaped device wrapped in aluminum foil.

sfl-flduh-shoplifter-dressed-guard-20141004-001Unlocking the items he wanted, Burcks was soon on his way toward the exit with what police said was more than $2,600 worth of cellphone cases and battery packs hidden in a plastic tote container lying in a shopping cart, according to a Lake Wales Police Department report.

Such elaborate forms of shoplifting are a growing concern among retailers in Florida, according to the Florida Retail Federation and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

However, these methods are new to Lake Wales, police said.

“It’s definitely a unique case for us,” Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said Thursday. “Most of the things people use around here are cutting devices.”

Burcks pushed the cart through the store and past the cash registers toward a closed exit. While shoppers may not have noticed him, Wal-Mart loss-prevention officials did and had already called Lake Wales police. When Burcks spotted them, he turned around and attempted to hide the tote container before heading toward another exit.

Police stopped him, however, and searched him. Inside his right front pocket police say they found the device known as a hand key. It is about half the size of a Kit Kat candy bar and it enables would-be retail thieves to ­remove shoplifting protections from merchandise.

“These keys are used in house by retailers themselves to protect merchandise,” said Samantha Stratton, spokeswoman for the Florida Retail Federation. “Typically, they can be universal from some manufacturers.”

Hand keys unlock security devices — like the cases around DVDs or the tags that tether electronics to shelves — using strong magnets. When placed against a security device, the magnets in a hand key unlock the device allowing it to be opened, or detached, and the product removed. Some stores have the ability to detect the magnets through security towers placed at the entrance, but simple items, like tinfoil, can fool some security measures.

Hand keys have been used in theft for a while.

“We have seen several cases where a suspect has obtained a device and used it to access a locked area,” said Carrie Horstman, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office said.

Internet websites have forums dedicated to shoplifting and evading security tags. Instructional videos on how to use hand keys can be found on YouTube. Some forums and videos are as old as five years.

“Thirty dollars is a good investment; you’ll make triple easily within the first minutes of use,” a user named Kirby wrote on a Zoklet.net forum dedicated to shoplifting with Alpha s3 keys. “I stole a desktop PC from Wal-Mart with the use of this.”

Hand keys can be purchased online, usually only by qualified institutions, but by anyone on sites like Amazon and Craigslist.

Retailers on Amazon list the Alpha s3 key, one of the most common hand keys, for as little as $19.99, or $24.98 if shipped.

“It’s amazing what they’re talking about online,” Stratton said. “They have forums to discuss these highly illegal methods.”

In some instances, he said, FRF members have reported in-house hand keys being stolen and resold on the black market. Some, she said, have sold for as much as $1,000.

According to Stratton, some companies have begun to employ people who purchase hand keys from the black market to take them out of circulation.

Lake Wales Police Department sees these methods as a commitment to criminal activity they must do all they can to combat.

“Some people go to work every day feeling good about doing their job the best they can,” Schulze said. “Some go to work thinking how they can be the best criminal.”

Schulze said his department will communicate with other law enforcement agencies whenever new criminal tactics, like hand keys, pop up.


Man said he chugged stolen beer in store’s bathroom, making it a freebie

Filed under: Uncategorized — floridaduh @ 9:23 pm
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Randy Colby thought beer at CVS would be on the house if consumed in the store bathroom, but instead he was taken to jail on Sunday night, according to Gainesville police reports.

sfl-flduh-beer-stores-bathroom-20141006-001The 51-year-old Colby had already received a free pass earlier that day after a manager at the same CVS at Southwest 13th Street and 16th Avenue saw him urinating in front of a store window.

On Sunday at 9:20 a.m., a store manager called the Gainesville Police Department after she spotted a very drunk Colby relieving himself in view of customers. The officers would have needed to actually see Colby urinating to charge him with exposure of sexual organs. They summoned an ambulance instead, according to Officer Ben Tobias, a GPD spokesman.

About 12 hours later on Sunday night, GPD officers were again called to the CVS after another store manager saw Colby steal the beer. Colby told officers he consumed the beverage in the bathroom so that he did not have to pay for it, according to a GPD report.

Colby was taken to the Alachua County jail on suspicion of petit theft and trespassing.



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