The Bizarre World of Florida

Easy money: Man gets wrong tax return check, spends money … Now spends time March 5, 2015

Police have arrested a Panama City man for allegedly spending another person’s tax return given to him by accident, according to arrest records.

dominique-alexander-johnsonDominique Alexander Johnson, 21, was arrested Feb. 19 after his tax return check was mixed up by Friendly Check Cashing, 540 E. Sixth St., with that of a similarly named individual. He spent a majority of the check before being charged with grand theft, according to Panama City Police Department arrest reports.

Representatives of Friendly Check Cashing declined to comment, but according to police reports, an employee of the store told police Johnson and a woman also named Dominique Johnson — although with a different middle name — had their taxes done at the business. The tax return check for the man was worth $142; the woman’s tax return check was worth $6,599, police said.

The man had come into the business earlier to pick up his check and was given the woman’s in error. The staff realized their mistake when the woman came to pick up her check a few days later. Friendly Tax Return then cut a check for $6,599 to the woman and attempted to get the man to pay back the difference, police reported.

But when the employees called him to notify him of their mistake, he allegedly told them he already had spent a significant amount of the tax return, according to PCPD.

He “stated he knew he was given the wrong check but still spent all but $400 of the $6,599 he was given,” police reported. He “also told (the employee) he was not going to reimburse them due to their mistake and hung up.”

Friendly Check Cashing employees contacted police to pursue criminal charges. Dominique Alexander Johnson was arrested a few days later and charged with grand theft. His bond was set at $7,500, and he has since posted bond. According to Bay County records, Johnson does not have a history of committing felony crimes.


Small world: Man tried to sell stolen ring to victim

A 19-year-old man was arrested after he tried to sell stolen jewelry to a woman who, it turns out, was the victim of the burglary, according to a Bay County Sheriff’s Office news release.

clifton-tyler-johnsonClifton Tyler Johnson, 19, was initially arrested on charges of loitering and prowling in the Owenwood Road area, BCSO said. But BCSO has filed charges of burglary of a conveyance, dealing in stolen property and three counts of burglary of a dwelling, officials reported Monday.

According to BCSO’s report, they received a complaint on Thursday of a burglary at a home on Owenwood Road in Bay County. The victim stated a white male was seen running from home. The victim went into the residence and found that jewelry had been taken.

Several other complaints of burglaries were received from the area of Owenwood Road around the same time. Cars and homes were burglarized. Items taken included cash, cellphones, prescription pills and jewelry, officials said.

On Friday, one of the victims was approached by a white male at a store in the Fountain area who asked if she would like to buy jewelry. The victim recognized a ring as her own and stated to the suspect it was hers. The suspect gave her the ring and left the store, officers reported.

Later on the same day, a BCSO deputy patrolling on Owenwood Road spotted a white male running from one of the homes that had been previously burglarized. The deputy pursued on foot and was able to take Johnson into custody. He was charged with loitering and prowling and booked into the Bay County Jail.

BCSO investigators developed Johnson as a suspect in the burglaries during the course of their investigation and learned that Johnson, a transient, was in the Bay County Jail. Investigators interviewed Johnson and were able to connect him to several burglaries and the attempt to sell stolen jewelry, BCSO reported.


Man accused of trying to steal $2.5M plane from airport March 3, 2015

An Ocala man is behind bars after police say he tried to steal a $2.5 million plane from Ocala International Airport.

6846471_GA member of Landmark Aviation’s ground crew contacted Ocala Police after he found a man in a hanger Thursday night. Police said the man told the crew member he needed to go to Chicago.

Police said 23-year-old Juan Pablo Ceron claimed he owned the Pilatus PC 12 plane, valued at $2.5 million, and was preparing it for a trip to Chicago.

The crew member told police Ceron didn’t show any ID and it looked like the airplane had been tampered with.

Ceron at first gave a fake name to officers, who said he is not the registered owner, has no connection with the company that is and has no claim to the plane.

Police said between $200 and $300 worth of damage had been done to the plane. Oxygen masks had been pulled down, life vests inflated and tube covers and propeller ties removed.

The safety blocks had been removed from the wheels and police said it looked like Ceron was trying to start it up.

Ceron refused to speak to officers and was arrested on two counts of burglary, attempted grand theft, giving a false name to law enforcement and criminal mischief.

Police notified federal agents because it is an international airport.

Ceron is being held on $51,000 bond at the Marion County Jail.


Thief steals guns, $18,000 in nickels during house party February 27, 2015

If you’ve seen someone carrying around $18,000 worth of nickels, police in North Naples, Florida, want to talk with you.

iStock_000051318116_Large_1424899413225_13944100_ver1.0_640_480Investigators said 183 boxes filled with bankrolls of nickels were stolen February 15 during a house party held in a gated community.

The five cent coins were stored in blue and white boxes that were the size of large bricks, Fox4Now reports.

About 360,000 nickels were stolen, weighing 3,968 pounds.

Police are asking local banks and businesses with coin-counting machines to report anyone who attempts to change an exceptionally large amount of nickels into larger bills, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Thieves also made off with a .12-gauge shotgun, a .45-caliber firearm and miscellaneous ammunition in addition to the nickels, CBS Miami reports.


911 call: Man claimed he was just testing response time

Wanting to test the response time of Stuart police, a man called 911 Tuesday and reported a shooting between “a couple of black males.”

smithWhen police arrived, they found no signs of a shooting or the males in question. They did find Christopher Smith, who allegedly made the 911 call.

“Halfway through the call, (Smith) became scared and realized it was not a smart choice to call 911 to test the response time of the Stuart Police Department,” according to a release.

Smith was right. Not only was he arrested for allegedly misusing the 911 system, he also faces a charge of violating his probation for aggravated battery and is being held without bond.

Police said Smith called police around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday and reported a shooting near 1596 S.E. Federal Highway in Stuart. Smith allegedly gave a description of the shooters and the cars they were in. While the dispatcher was trying to get more information, Smith hung up.

Smith approached a p0lice officer and asked her why she was there. Smith then said he hadn’t witnessed the shooting, the report said.

Using caller ID, the police dispatcher learned Smith’s identity and provided the officer a photo of Smith. When the officer confronted Smith, he admitted that he and a friend wanted to check the police response time and that he hung up while speaking to the 911 dispatcher because he realized his mistake.


Staff recognized ‘regular customer’ at Dunkin’ Donuts who robbed them February 24, 2015

A “regular customer” accused of robbing a doughnut shop in Margate and then threatening officers with a stun gun is behind bars, police said.

doughnutDunkin’ Donuts employees told police they recognized Lashan Patrick Jackson, 40, Saturday after he walked into the business at 399 South State Road 7 wearing a mask and carrying a rifle, according to the arrest report.

“If you don’t open the safe, I’m going to shoot you,” he said to the manager, according to the report.

Jackson followed the woman to the safe, pointing the rifle at her back. When the safe was opened, he grabbed a box with several rolls of coins and two TD Bank bags containing approximately $3,000, police said.

He left the restaurant and went around back to discard the rifle in a dumpster but missed and it hit the ground. Police said they later determined it was a pellet gun.

Witnesses saw Jackson walk away, get into a red four-door Chevrolet with a temporary tag, and drive off. While police were questioning them, one witness saw the red Chevy drive past the restaurant and pointed it out to the officers, the report said. Officers followed the car.

Cops stopped the suspect’s vehicle at 1100 S. State Rd. 7 in North Lauderdale. Officers said they found Jackson at the wheel and the rolled coins and TD Bank bags in the back seat. They also found $2,758 in the glove box, Dunkin’ Donuts deposit slips, and a blue jacket and mask similar to those worn by the armed robber, police said.

The witnesses identified Jackson, saying they were 100 percent certain he was the armed robber. They told detectives he came to the doughnut shop at least once a day and that they recognized his hair style, skin tone, build, mannerisms and eyes despite the mask worn during the holdup, police said.

After he was arrested, Jackson got into a struggle with police when they tried to put him in a holding cell.

Jackson grabbed one officer’s stun gun, police said. “I’m going to kill you,” he told the officer, but the stun gun but misfired, the arrest report stated. Then he grabbed an officer and ordered him to open the cell door. The officer refused and the struggle resumed.

The stun gun fired but no one was hit. Jackson then declared he was HIV positive and tried to bite the officer, police said. Several officers subdued him.

Jackson faces charges that include armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, resisting arrest with violence and escape, among others. He was ordered held without bond, jail records showed.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show he was convicted of sexual assault on a minor in 1993.


He stole tires — and wouldn’t tire of trying to run February 23, 2015

A Pompano Beach man accused of stealing tires is behind bars and facing a slew of charges despite his tireless effort to evade arrest.

troutmanDominique Quintez Troutman, 28, tried to steal tires in Hollywood early Wednesday and then led deputies on a car chase that ended with him being carted off to the hospital and then booked into jail, according to a complaint affidavit filed in his case.

Even at the hospital, Troutman tried to make a break for it by jumping off an X-ray table, the affidavit said. He was not successful.

The incident began to unfold when a business owner called police just after 12:30 a.m. The business owner, looking at his surveillance system, saw a stranger trying to break into his 2000 Ford F-350 pickup, which was parked outside his warehouse at 5925 Ravenswood Road in Dania Beach, the affidavit said.

The business owner confronted the stranger, but the man got into a silver Ford Focus and drove off.

A responding K-9 deputy came across the Focus parked at Stirling Tires and Alignment, 2175 Stirling Road, in Hollywood, the affidavit said. The deputy saw a man, later identified as Troutman, loading tires from a tire rack into the Focus. He then tried to open the door to the business, but couldn’t get in.

Troutman returned to the tire rack and noticed the deputy’s marked Broward Sheriff’s Office K-9 cruiser, the affidavit said. Troutman got into his car, tried to back into the deputy’s cruiser and then sped east on Stirling Road, running a red light.

Troutman headed south on Interstate 95. He got off on Hollywood Boulevard, heading east, before getting back onto I-95, this time heading north, the affidavit said.

Troutman, who by this point was being pursued by multiple officers on the road and in the air, exited on Sunrise Boulevard. He drove through a residential neighborhood, disregarding the flashing lights and blaring sirens.

During the chase, Troutman ran multiple stop signs and drove east in the westbound lanes and west in the eastbound lanes, the affidavit said.

When he reached Northwest 15th Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard, the car he was driving overturned. The pursuit was over.

But Troutman wasn’t giving up yet. Taken to Broward Health Medical Center, he tried in vain to hop off an X-ray table and flee, the affidavit said.

He was booked into jail at 11:39 a.m. on several charges including unarmed burglary, grand theft, aggravated assault on an officer, eluding law enforcement and numerous traffic violations.

Troutman’s bond was set at $26,825 for the 15 charges he faces in connection with the case, records show. Troutman, who has 12 previous arrests in Florida, was being held Thursday without bond on two unrelated charges.

Troutman’s driving privileges have been revoked, records show.



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