The Bizarre World of Florida

Would-be bank robber was drunk, arrived by cab, and couldn’t pay the cab fare March 26, 2015

B9316747001Z.1_20150326134136_000_GPAAB300M.1-0Stanley Geddie arrived by taxicab and was drunk during an attempted heist of a Tallahassee bank Wednesday afternoon, police say.

The 46-year-old was arrested on charges of robbery, petty theft and resisting an officer after demanding $100,000 from a bank manager at the Capital City Bank on Capital Circle Northwest.

Geddie told the manager he had a .357 handgun, was carrying C4 plastic explosives and “would blow this place up,” court records show.

Police arrived at the bank to find the cab driver, who advised them Geddie was drunk and had not paid his $25.50 fare. The driver told police Geddie said, “I will take care of you when I come out.”

When police made contact with Geddie sitting in the manager’s office, he appeared “very intoxicated and spaced out,” according to court records.

Geddie did not follow officers’ commands and was tased during the incident. Court records say that when police told him he would be shot if he made any sudden movements, he said “well then kill me.” He was arrested without further incident. A search revealed Geddie did not have a firearm or explosives.

In an interview with police, the bank manager said Geddie indicated he also had the bank surrounded while continuing to demand the money.

Tellers alerted police to the robbery after the manager closed his office door with Geddie inside and they became concerned.

While being treated for Taser wounds at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Geddie indicated he had on two pairs of pants so he could remove one after the robbery to appear not to be the suspect.

The cab driver told police he wanted to press charges for the unpaid fare, which resulted in the petty theft charge.


Meow! Woman found burglar under bed while looking for cat March 20, 2015

A 61-year-old woman expected to feel the soft fur of her cats when she searched under her bed for them.

catBut to her surprise, she felt a person instead. She had just touched the burglar who was hiding under her bed, Palm Springs police said.

It happened Tuesday at a home in the 100 block of Cayman Drive.

A stranger was knocking on residents’ doors, drawing the suspicion of a neighbor who phoned the police. The neighbor watched the man walk toward the rear of a residence, according to the report.

Inside that home, a woman was searching for her two cats.

As the woman reached under her bed, she “felt she had touched human skin,” an officer wrote in the report. “The suspect was hiding under her bed.”

That caused the man, later identified as Christian Vatovec, 25, of Lake Worth, to sprint from the home and jump a fence before running west toward Henthorne Drive, police said.

Police responded to the neighborhood, and an officer visited the residence where the burglar had been.

The woman said a gold ankle bracelet and digital camera were stolen. Officers found Vatovec near a canal and took him back to the burglarized home, where the woman identified him as the burglar.

Vatovec faces burglary, grand theft and resisting arrest charges. He was booked into Palm Beach County Jail, where he was held in lieu of $53,000 bail.


Man tired to swipe 27 cases of suds from Wal-Mart March 15, 2015

George Lainez has a thirst for theft, according to his arrest report.

beerThe 58-year-old man loaded 27 cases of beer into a shopping cart and walked out the door of the Wal-Mart at 7900 W. McNab Rd. in North Lauderdale on Tuesday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

A loss prevention officer spotted Lainez filling up the cart just before 11 a.m. and then watched as he walked past the checkout lines and into the parking lot, officials said.

Lainez, of North Lauderdale, was caught in the parking lot with $485.15 worth of beer and was arrested on a charge of retail theft, court records showed.

Bond was set at $1,500 at his first appearance in court Wednesday.

He was convicted of petit theft in 2012, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.


Girls softball treasurer swiped nearly $45,000 March 13, 2015

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office today arrested the treasurer of Miss Sarasota Softball for allegedly misappropriating nearly $45,000 of the nonprofit sports organization’s funds.

54fa2554c187d.imageTarree House served as the volunteer treasurer from 2005 until she was asked to resign in 2014. She was sole signatory on the Miss Sarasota Softball bank account and controlled data entry for the group’s accounting software.

Detectives allege that from 2011 to 2013, House made ATM cash withdrawals, bank withdrawals and issued checks that were not authorized and did not benefit Miss Sarasota Softball. The transactions totaled approximately $44,775

House is charged with one felony count of Scheme to Defraud. She is currently being held on $7,500 bond.


Man burglarized storage facility, then asked officer where his ride went March 10, 2015

A man was arrested for burglary after he went up to police officers patrolling the area and inquired if they had seen his friend — while he had stolen goods in his bag, according to an arrest report.

dopeBoca Raton police said at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday they saw a car parked by a storage facility at 801 Clint Moore Road, which has been plagued recently by burglaries. There was a woman sitting inside who said she was homeless and was getting some sleep.

Officers let the woman go, according to the arrest report, and not long after a man came walking up to them asking where she had gone.

Police said the man, identified as James Reed, seemed suspicious and had a backpack over his shoulder. They smelled marijuana and asked the man if he had been smoking.

According to the arrest report, the man told them they could search his belongings.

Inside his bag was an assortment of items — including a laptop — and a name etched into the tag of the backpack that was not Reed’s. An officer went into the storage facility and found many of the containers had been burglarized.

One of the lockers belonged to the man whose name was etched into the backpack Reed was holding, according to the report.

Reed is charged with burglary and is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on $6,000 bail.


Man boasted of break-ins to store clerk, got arrested March 9, 2015

Walton County Sheriff’s Deputies say a conversation with a store clerk has leads to the arrest of a burglary suspect.

StoryOn the eve of February 6th or early morning hours of February 7th, 2015, patrol deputies responded to a car burglary involving a stolen iPod Touch, a Garmin GPS and two pairs of sunglasses.  The incident took place outside a home on Tradwinds Drive in Santa Rosa Beach.

In a separate incident, the breaking of a car window was reported to the Sheriff’s Office by the homeowners who lived next door.  A deputy who was conducting a neighborhood canvass stopped at the Exon Gas Station located off 30A West and Highway 98 and spoke with the store clerk to see if they were aware of any suspicious activity.

During the conversation, the store clerk mentioned that an individual was in the store between 1 am and 3 am on February 7th and that the individual stated he had stolen an iPod and GPS out of a vehicle and attempted to break a window out of a second vehicle.  The deputy got a witness statement from the clerk and video from the store security camera of the suspect showing the store clerk what appeared to be an iPod Touch.  All the information was turned over to Sheriff’s Office investigators who were able to get positive identification of the suspect through a photo lineup and witness statements.

Brandon Bautista, 18, of 52 Shelter Cove Drive, Santa Rosa Beach, is charged with burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, larceny and criminal mischief. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending.


Man swiped neighbors’ credit card, took them to NFL game

Deputies say a Spring Hill couple was surprised to learn that Buccaneers tickets given to them by a neighbor were actually paid for with their own credit card. And that’s not all he supposedly bought with their stolen card.

6897731_GAnthony James David faces a variety of charges after deputies say he swiped his neighbors’ Discover and Best Buy gift cards. They say he had befriended the couple and gave them a false name and even took them to the Bucs game with the ill-gotten tickets — all without them knowing.

“As it turned out looking on our credit card statement, we had actually financed the entire day,” Bill Callahan said. “He seemed like a really nice guy. Introduced himself as a pharmaceutical rep, and everything seemed pretty accurate with what he was telling us.”

But Bill and his wife Melissa got suspicious after discovering their card has been used fraudulently to purchase flowers at a local florist, food from Panera, legal services from a Tampa attorney, PayPal services, and Verizon services. They also found that two of their Best Buy gift cards were used at Best Buy stores in Spring Hill and New Port Richey.

Detectives say surveillance video from some of those purchases implicated David, who had told the Callahans that his name was Anthony Sagglioca.

“He is very skillful in the way he conducts himself,” Bill said.

They say they found the same thing when they contacted the Buccaneers’ ticket office.

“When detectives received statements from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was confirmed that the victim’s credit card was used to purchase the season tickets, as well as individual game tickets in Anthony’s name, for an amount of $608. It was also confirmed that the game tickets, for which he invited and ‘paid’ for the victims to attend, were paid by Anthony using the victim’s stolen credit card,” the sheriff’s office explained. “Obviously, the victims were unaware the game they were attending had been purchased using their credit card.”

In all, Anthony David allegedly made $2,969.38 in fraudulent purchases using the stolen credit card, as well as $100 using the stolen Best Buy cards.

“It’s embarrassing, it’s maddening. It makes me think how will I trust anyone again?” Bill said.

David, 37, was arrested Friday night. Deputies say he has an “extensive history” of fraud charges.



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