JAN. 2, 7:49 A.M.: Some people go through a lot of trouble to pilfer a lot of nothing.
It was reported this morning that an unknown speeding suspect or suspects came crashing through the 2-foot-high, plastic-staked fence enclosing a construction area in the 7000 block of Narcoossee Road. Inside, the perp(s) proceeded to cut donuts in the dirt with their truck. Fun, sure, but not the way you want to behave if you are trying to be inconspicuous. But so far nothing of value had been pocketed.
That was soon remedied when our suspect or suspects drove up to a yellow construction trailer, backing their vehicle up to the trailer doors and possibly connecting a chain to it. You can guess the next step: Putting the pedal to the metal and prying that gateway to goodness wide open.
The plan worked, but after all that effort the items removed from the trailer seem a bit on the sucky side: a 100-foot-long black and orange electrical cord valued at $15 and a $150 electric Milwaukee Sawzall. The same process was repeated on a couple more trailers, but nothing was extracted. Total damage to the trailer doors tallied up to $3,000.
JAN. 5, 9:49 P.M.: A well-known hamburger joint in the 830 block of South Orange Blossom Trail became an all-out war zone this evening.
After a high school basketball game, the rival teams and all their scholastic buddies hit the mighty golden arches for an evening snack. And make no mistake, there were a lot of teenagers hanging about. "It should be noted that there were approximately 400 students in the parking lot," police reports state.
But the chatter of teen talk was soon broken by the unmistakable noise of gunshots fired into the night air. A 17-year-old girl slipped out of her beige 2006 Toyota Corolla at the sound of combat and took refuge inside the restaurant, where seven evening-shift employees wondered what the hell was going on.
When the barrage of bullets ceased, the teenage girl emerged from the restaurant, only to find her car had been in the line of fire; she estimated damages to be approximately $5,000. Amazingly, the burger building was only struck twice, causing damages of about $1,000.
Police reports state that "a total of 106 spent shells were recovered," and "the following weapons were used: 9 mm semiautomatic, shotguns, AR15's, AK47's, .40 caliber handguns and .380 caliber handguns."
Back in the day, kids used to throw water balloons.
JAN. 6, 5:35 P.M.: A Danish man, 29, visiting Orlando hung out at a health-and-fitness club in the 400 block of East Compton Street. When he decided that he'd had enough of a workout for one afternoon, he split.
But just outside the club, a 6-foot-tall, 21-year-old man with a shaved head approached. He wanted directions from the out-of-towner — a bad sign our Danish tourist should have picked up on. But being a naive traveler, he only gathered that "the suspect appeared to be nice," reports state.
One knife to the neck later, he changed his mind. His innocence cost him a stolen gym bag stuffed with clothes, a wallet containing $100 and a $3,000 laptop.
Police reports add the following: "It should be noted there was a 24-hour time span between the actual robbery and when the victim reported it to the Orlando Police Department. The victim tried to report the case to the Altamonte Springs Police Department, but was directed back to the Orlando Police Department because of jurisdiction."
Poor Dane. We doubt he'll be returning for a vacation anytime soon.
JAN. 6, 7:27 P.M.: Approximately two hours later, another man in his 20s was introduced to a knife blade in the 5000 block of Rosamond Drive. This tale, however, bears more painful scars.
The victim, 23, was simply walking through his apartment complex parking lot when a mob of six men emerged. They didn't waste any time relieving him of the 500 clams in his pocket. Then they struck him on the head, and one of the assailants plunged a sharp knife into his groin.
The curious part? The man told police he didn't need them, did not know the suspects and did not want to file a police report. We think somebody doth protest too little.
JAN. 7, 3:13 P.M.: This afternoon in the 2500 block of Robert Trent Jones Drive, an unknown male had sneaky plans. And sneaky plans usually entail heisting patio chairs, apparently.
An apartment complex security officer was on patrol, perhaps enjoying the absurdly warm winter weather, when he noted something fishy: a man lingering in the pool area with an armful of patio chair. But when the chair-toting chap spotted the security officer in the distance, he dropped the patio squatter and fled as fast as two legs could carry him through the complex. He was never captured. The plastic chair, however, was email@example.com