The Bizarre World of Florida

Reeled in: Fishing gear thief who swiped $13,000 in rods August 21, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Robbers,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:22 pm

sfl-flduh-fishing-rods-thief-20140820-001Port St. Joe’s serene waters make it a prime fishing spot in Gulf County. Evidence of that is now sitting in the evidence room at the Port St. Joe Police Department.

“There’s a lot of them and they’re really expensive. So you can take a $300 to $400 combo of a reel and rod and go sell it at the pawn shop or sell it on the street  for $150 – $200,” said Richards. “If you’ve got a lot of em’ you can make a lot of money.” 

Police say that’s exactly what prompted 18-year-old Quincy Nathaniel Works to steal more than $13,000 in tackle from victims around the city.

“Initially it appeared that he was riding around looking for boats close to the road with rods sticking up in rod holders,” said Richards.  

 So investigators came up with a plan to set up a decoy boat not far off the beaten path complete with a game cam. 

“Knowing that he was driving around looking for boats close to the road we asked a friend if we could use his boat and he pulled it in his front yard and we put two rods in his boat sticking up and put the camera in the tree pointing at the boat,” said Richards. “Just to see if we could get lucky.” 

The plan worked. No sooner did investigators push play on the camera that they caught Works just nine hours later.  

“We thought it was a shot in the dark,” said Richards. “We thought we may get lucky with it being on a main thoroughfare, but never expected it to happen that night in just a couple of hours from when we set it up.” 

But luck was on their side. Works was charged for stealing the two reels from the decoy boat and for violation of probation.  

The next task for authorities will be matching victims with their tackle.  

“We have a lot of it that is not identified,” said Richards. “We think we still have victims out there that may not know they’re victims yet.” 

If you do think you’re a victim in this case or you have discovered you are missing some fishing gear in the Port St. Joe area contact the Port St. Joe Police Department at 227-1414. 


 An 18-year-old Port St. Joe man is charged for the theft of more than $13 thousand in stolen fishing equipment.  Port St. Joe police say last Sunday they took reports from victims who had high end fishing reels stolen from all over the city. 

Saturday authorities took matters into their own hands and set up a decoy boat with decoy fishing rods. That boat was robbed and the reels were discovered missing this morning.  

The effort led to the arrest of Quincy Nathaniel Works thanks to a camera mounted on the boat. Works was arrested on burglary charges and also had a previous warrant.  

An investigation into search warrants lead to the recovery of more than 30 rods and reels and a compound bow and arrow.  Investigators say they are still searching for more fishing equipment that has still not been recovered.  


Here’s a new one, this DUI guy was caught dragging a tree down the road!

A Gainesville police officer was sitting in a parked cruiser late Monday night when an approaching truck caught his attention.

sfl-flduh-dui-dragged-tree-20140820-001It could have been that the truck was speeding, perhaps it was the loud noise and the sparks that were flying from the rear as a chain bounced off the asphalt.

Or maybe it was the tree that the driver was dragging as he drove east along the 3500 block of Northwest 53rd Avenue.

The officer stopped the driver, later identified as Daniel Totulis, 21, of Gainesville, at around 11 p.m. at the entrance to the Apple Tree subdivision. Totulis had glassy eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol, according to a police report.

Totulis told officers that he wanted to take a test to see if he was drunk, the report said. The officers conducted a field sobriety test and Totulis swayed while trying to stand, missed his nose with his finger two out of four times, and refused to walk a straight line.

During the test, Totulis told the officers to take him to jail because he knew he should not have been drinking and driving, the report said. He offered no explanation for why he was dragging a tree down the street late at night.

He was arrested on a charge of DUI after his breath tests registered .190 and .185, twice the legal threshold in Florida for DUI.


Boy, 7, drops the dime on mom for cooking … meth August 20, 2014

A 26-year-old mother from Volusia County has been arrested after police said her 7-year-old son turned her in for cooking and using methamphetamine.

According to Edgewater police, the boy told his uncle — as well as investigators — that “There’s really bad stuff in my mom’s car.”

Briana Buchanan and her son had been living with her boyfriend’s brother, Peter — who considers the 7-year-old his nephew — for some time at his Edgewater home.

For several days, the boy had told Peter that his mom was cooking “something bad.”

Then, on Friday, Peter said the boy built up enough courage to show him just how bad it was.

“He came up to me, and he said, ‘There’s really bad stuff in mom’s car that I want to show you,'” said Peter, who asked that his last name not be published.

The 7-year-old brought his uncle to his mother’s car and opened up the trunk, himself. Inside was drug paraphernalia, sitting right next to some of the boy’s toys.

Shocked, Peter closed the trunk, took the boy inside and called 911.

“Her son, who’s 7, just told me she keeps bad stuff in her car, and he opened up the trunk, and she has a meth lab in her trunk,” Peter told a 911 dispatcher.

The 911 operator told Peter to get away from the car, because of the volatility of materials used to cook meth.

When police arrived, they found dozens of items inside the trunk used to cook and use meth.

What’s worse, the boy also described to Peter just how his mom allegedly manufactured meth.

“He said when they would get all this stuff together, they would put it all in a soda bottle, and they would shake the soda bottle and take the top off to, I guess, vent it out,” Peter said.

Police charged Buchanan with child neglect, possession of chemicals, meth and paraphernalia, and manufacturing and delivery of meth.

After Buchanan’s arrest, her son was taken in by his grandmother, away from a world Peter says no boy his age should have to see.

“I can already tell you, just looking at his face, he is relieved to be out of the situation,” Peter said.

The boy’s grandmother planned to enroll him in school this week.

Edgewater police said they were investigating to see if Briana Buchanan could be charged with trafficking meth, which has a harsher punishment.


Here’s something you evidently don’t want to do: use Thomas Steffen’s favorite cup August 19, 2014

THOMAS_STEFFEN_mug-208x300hat appears to be what sparked a confrontation that ultimately left Steffen’s brother with bruising and redness and Steffen in lock-up, according to statements in a recently released arrest affidavit.

Port St. Lucie police on Aug. 2 went to an address in the 1600 block of Southwest Tivan Lane and spoke to Steffen’s brother and his girlfriend.

They said Steffen, 25, came in while they were in bed naked and began “screaming at (Steffen’s brother) about him using his favorite drinking cup,” the affidavit states.

A cup is a flat-bottomed vessel designed to hold beverages for human consumption. Cup varieties include the mug, chalice, highball, cannikin, pilsener, cordial, tankard, demitasse, goblet, grail, stein, teacup and tumbler. There’s also the storied “pimp cup,” a highly-ornate drink receptacle famously toted by the rapper Snoop Dog.

A cup features prominently in the video for “Cups,” a popular song from the 2012 film “Picture Perfect,” and in the traditional magic trick known as “cups and balls.”

In measuring terms, a cup is equivalent to 8 ounces.

Meanwhile, Steffen’s brother told police that Steffen started pushing him then charged him and grabbed him in a bear hug.

Steffen’s brother said he was able to push Steffen off him. He hit Steffen in the eye after Steffen again charged him.

Steffen told police he went in his brother’s room, pushing and tackling him.

A description of Steffen’s favorite drinking cup wasn’t listed. It’s also unclear whether a straw was involved.

Steffen, of the 1600 block of Southwest Tivan Lane in Port St. Lucie, was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge.


You kill a guy and ask your girlfriend to help bury him. She refuses so you threaten to kill her too. BTW He wasn’t even dead, he just had a broken nose August 18, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Dangerous Nut,Dumb,Scary,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:43 pm

Police arrested a St. Petersburg man last week who, they say, beat another man unconscious with a BB gun and, believing the man to be dead, asked his girlfriend to help bury the body.

1604577Police said Nicholas M. Harris, 20, planned to kill the man Monday. He hit the victim in the face with a metal BB gun repeatedly, broke his nose and rendered him unconscious, authorities said.

Harris thought he’d killed the man, so he placed him in a car and drove home, police said. A witness and Harris’ girlfriend watched as he dragged the victim inside, according to police. Harris asked his girlfriend to help bury the body, and when she refused he threatened to kill her and the other witness with a knife, authorities said.

After a few hours, the victim woke. Harris’ mother and brother drove the man to the hospital, where doctors treated his broken nose. He also required stitches.

Harris was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and held on $260,000 bail.

He was charged with first-degree attempted murder and multiple counts of battery, assault, false imprisonment, possessing a firearm as a felon, and burglary.


‘Zombies’ suspected of drug use a problem in shopping plaza August 13, 2014

Filed under: Controversy,Drugs,Dumb,Funny,Interesting,Silly,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:44 pm

Business owners in a busy corridor of Melbourne are complaining about “zombies.”

1407933459195Not the movie variety, but vagrants and panhandlers suspected of being under the influence and causing problems.

“We call them ‘walkers’,” said Melina Champion, who works nearby.

“They look like they are on drugs, like they’re zombies, just walking around asking people for money,” said Brittany Ganswith, who works with Champion.

The co-workers have heard and seen first hand what so-called “zombies” are doing in their business parking lot near Wickham and Sarno Roads. They say it’s scaring customers when they step outside.

“It makes us uncomfortable as well. Just to even go outside on our breaks and stuff,” added Champion.

The problem has been happening for about a month or so, dozens of calls about loiterers and aggressive panhandlers.

“The people that loiter, sitting on sidewalks, sitting on their benches, in their parking lots,” said Commander Vincent Price of the Melbourne Police Department. “Some have even called them zombies.”

One of the many complaints talks about four to six people loitering in the Twin Oaks Plaza, calling it an ongoing issue with “zombies,” acting lethargic and possibly on drugs.

“I open the door and they are smoking K-2 right at our backdoor,” said Sam Adams. He owns a smoke shop, but doesn’t sell K-2, a legal synthetic cannabis also known as “Spice.”

In the past month he’s called police at least 14 times for trespassing and had customers tell him they are being harassed and not coming back.

“It’s not a good feeling, but I’m trying to run a business here,” he said.

Some can be arrested for trespassing or loitering. If they are panhandling aggressively, a new ordinance passed in Melbourne last month allowed police to arrest them for that as well. But all of these charges are minor.

Monday night Melbourne Police arrested 31-year-old Dustin Jolly during a foot patrol. They said he was aggressively asking nearby Wal Mart customers for money. They found a needle filled with heroin and K-2. He was taken to jail.

Police continue patrols of the area, and encourage local business owners to keep calling if they see anything suspicious.


Drugs found in man’s ‘makeup’ box …. in his what????

Filed under: Bizzarre,Controversy,Dangerous Nut,Drugs,Florida Nut,Unusual,Weird,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:41 pm

A 32-year-old man accused of burglary of a business is also facing drug charges after authorities say they found cocaine in a box he claimed to keep makeup in.

sfl-flduh-drugs-makeup-box-20140812-001An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy was conducting a security check behind Bippy’s on July 7 when he heard someone jumping over the fence, according to the arrest report. The deputy saw Jose Victor Rivera, of Fort Walton Beach, and asked Rivera to come to the deputy, which Rivera did.

As Rivera walked up, the deputy noted that Rivera was taking off a pair of black gloves, the report said. Rivera said he was scrapping metal.

The deputy called for backup. After additional deputies arrived, Rivera took a small black box out of his pocket, according to the report. Rivera told deputies that he kept his makeup in the box, but deputies found a white powder inside that tested positive for cocaine.

Rivera’s shoe prints were both inside and outside the fence the report said. A metal step from a truck, a roll of hose and a gas can were located just inside the fence where Rivera had jumped over.

Rivera insisted he was scrapped and had just stopped at the business because they leave pipe by the fence, the report said.

Rivera is charged with burglary of an unarmed structure and possession of cocaine.



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